Saravana Bhavan founder Rajagopal, facing life term for murder, dies
Sarvana Bhavan owner P Rajagopal died on Thursday morning after he suffered a heart attack.
Rajagopal, also known as the dosa king, was put on a ventilator on Saturday night after he suffered a massive cardiac arrest.
Rajagopal had surrendered in court on July 9 to serve his life imprisonment for the kidnap and murder of a man named Prince Shanthakumar, husband of a lady named Jeevajothi whom Rajagopal wanted to marry as his third wife.
Rajagopal after being taken into custody by the Puzhal prison officials was admitted to the prison ward of the Stanley Medical College and Hospital, Chennai on the day of his surrender itself.
Rajagopal had come to the court in a dramatic manner - in an ambulance with oxygen mask attached to his face. Rajagopal's counsel had even sort more time for his surrender stating his ill health. But this plea was rejected by the Madras High Court.
His appeal against the Madras High Court order upholding the trial court's judgement convicting him was rejected by the apex court in March this year.
THE MURDER CASE
Rajagopal was convicted in the kidnap and murder of Prince Santhakumar, husband of a lady named Jeevajothi whom Rajagopal intended to marry as his third wife.
In October 2001, the daughter of a Saravana Bhavan employee and her husband were kidnapped. Jeevajothi was the daughter of an assistant manager at one of Saravana Bhavan's Chennai branches. Rajagopal wanted to marry Jeevajothi as an astrologer had told him to marry one Jeevajothi to become one of the richest in the country.
Rajagopal then was already married with two wives. Despite Rajagopal's advances and threats, Jeevajothi went on to marry one Prince Santhakumar, a man she loved. In 2001, after the kidnapping, Jeevajothi's husband Santhakumar's body was found by the forest department officials from inside the Tiger Chola forests in Kodaikanal on October 31.
His post-mortem report had said the cause of death was asphyxia due to throttling. Soon after, police found the cloth used for the murder. In 2004, a sessions court found Rajagopal guilty of the crime and sentenced him to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment.
Rajagopal challenged the sessions court verdict in the Madras High Court but was given life imprisonment in 2009.
Rajagopal once again appealed against the verdict in the Supreme court, which upheld the Madras High Court order in March 2019.
Rajgopal was asked to surrender on July 7, but he appealed again, asking for more time owing to his ill health. This was rejected by the Supreme Court.