The Madras High Court on Tuesday allowed Saravana Bhavan owner P Rajagopal, who is undergoing a life term for murder, to be admitted in a private hospital. Hearing a petition filed by Rajagopal's son R Saravanan, the court allowed Rajagopal to be shifted from the government Stanley Hospital, where he was being treated in the prison ward, to a private hospital.
Rajagopal, sentenced to life term for the murder of his employee, Prince Santhakumar, surrendered before a court in Chennai on July 9 after the apex court dismissed his petition, seeking more time for surrender. Sent to prison, he was admitted to the government hospital later the same day after complaining of giddiness.
Speaking to TNM about Rajagopal's health condition on July 15, his advocate Muthukannaiyan said that Rajagopal already had a lot of health issues. "He is diabetic and already has a lot of problems. He can't really walk and his vision is not okay. His kidneys were also weak. We had admitted him in Vijaya hospital for this reason," he said.
Rajagopal, 71, had also sought that he be exempted from being sent to jail and his hospitalisation be treated as a deemed jail term. The court had refused the plea.
The founder of the restaurant chain popular in the country and overseas, he was sentenced by a sessions court to a 10 year jail term on charges of killing Santhakumar, whose wife he wanted to make his third wife. When the woman refused the proposal, he ordered her husband killed.
He appealed in the Madras High Court, but it upheld his conviction while enhancing the sentence to a life imprisonment. The conviction and sentence were upheld by the apex court in March and he was supposed to surrender on July 7 to begin his term. He moved the apex court to delay the beginning of his term, citing ill health, but got no relief from it.
(With inputs from IANS)