Crime
He had surrendered before the court for the abduction and murder of a man in 2001.
File Image/PTI

Saravana Bhavan hotels founder and murder case convict P Rajagopal's suffered from a heart attack late on Saturday, remains critical and is on ventilator support at present. 

P Rajagopal, who surrendered before the IV Magistrate court in Chennai on July 8, was admitted to Stanley Medical College hospital on the same day. Plagued by health issues, Rajagopal had, in fact, arrived at the court complex in an ambulance from Vijaya Hospital and was taken in a stretcher to the court. He then surrendered in the murder case as per the orders of the Supreme Court.

Speaking to TNM about Rajagopal's health condition, 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.

The advocate added that doctors in Stanley hospital had recommended that Rajagopal be admitted to the hospital till he recovered, when he was taken there for a medical checkup before being taken to the prison. "While at Stanley, he got a heart attack on Saturday night and is in recovery since then. As of Sunday night, he was in critical condition and doctors are continuously watching him."

Confirming that Rajagopal indeed is in a critical condition in Stanley hospital, Dr P Ramesh, the Resident Medical Officer told TNM that he was a diabetic and a hypertension patient. "He is in an extremely critical condition. His kidneys are also failing and he is in the ICU and on the ventilator," he said.

Rajagopal was convicted to ten years rigorous imprisonment by a sessions court for the abduction and murder of a man named Prince Santhakumar in 2001. Rajagopal allegedly wanted to marry Jeevajyothi, Santhakumar's wife, based on the advice of an astrologer. Despite Jeevajyothi's resistance, Rajagopal continued to pursue and harass her and her husband.   

Rajagopal had appealed against the decision of the sessions court in the Madras High court, which revised the sentence to life imprisonment. He challenged the sentence in Supreme Court, and after much delay, the Supreme Court upheld the life imprisonment. The court also gave Rajagopal time till July 7 to surrender owing to health issues. Rajagopal, however, failed to surrender on the said date and filed a plea with the apex court on the next day seeking extension for his surrender. The Supreme Court had refused to grant him relief and ordered him to surrender immediately.

Meanwhile, Rajagopal's son has moved  a habeas corpus petition before the Madras High Court pleading that his father be shifted to a private hospital for treatment. His lawyer made a special mention before a division bench of Justices MM Sundresh and M Nirmal Kumar. The TN government, represented by the additional public prosecutor, informed the court that he would get instructions from the government by Tuesday.