P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan, Supreme Court, Madras High Court, Murder, Surrender, Convict
In March this year, the Supreme Court upheld the life imprisonment for Rajagopal, who now looks at a prison term for the rest of his life (File Photo)

HC allows Saravana Bhavan founder Rajagopal to shift to private hospital

The Madras High Court on Tuesday (July 16) permitted Saravana Bhavan founder and murder case convict P Rajagopal to be admitted in a private hospital here.

A bench comprising Justices MM Sundresh and M Nirmal Kumar passed the direction on Tuesday, a day after Rajagopal’s younger son P Saravanan filed a petition before the Madras High Court seeking a direction to shift his father to a private hospital from Stanley Medical College hospital.

Meanwhile, an India Today report stated that Rajagopal has been put on ventilator after his health condition deteriorated on Tuesday.

In the petition, Saravanan said that his 72-year-old father is suffering from several diseases and is a chronic diabetic patient with Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus, for which he needs to be administered insulin four times a day.

“Due to the high diabetic condition, both his kidneys are affected by chronic kidney disease stage 3. He requires high diet and water level control,” he said in his petition. He added that his father has chronic left bundle branch block in his heart and hence is at a risk of a heart attack.

‘Govt hospital lacks facilities’

“He requires intense care and regular medication which will not be available in the prison conditions. Even though the prison has basic medical facilities, the same is not enough to meet his requirements,” Saravanan said in his petition, adding that his father also requires special medical equipment in order to survive.

Saravanan also said in his petition that the sudden change in nature of drugs and in treatment by the Stanley Medical College have deteriorated his condition.

“During the intervening night of July 13 and July 14, Rajagopal suffered a cardiac arrest and he was able to recover only in the morning. The doctors had advised ABG blood test, but the same facility was not available at Stanley hospital. The test sample was sent to Hi-Tech lab,” Saravanan said.

Also Read: Memories of Saravana Bhavan leave a bitter taste for Jeeva Jothi

Saravanan said that the facilities available at Stanley hospital was not sufficient to bring an improvement in the health conditions of Rajagopal. Thus, he urged the court to allow him to shift his father to a private hospital where all necessary medical facilities are available.

In 2001, Rajagopal was booked under various charges for the murder of Santhakumar, with the intent of marrying his wife Jeevajothi. In 2004, he was convicted by a sessions court on charges of culpable homicide and not amounting to murder, and sentenced him to 10 years imprisonment.

Later, hearing an appeal by the state government and Rajagopal, the Madras High Court convicted him and 10 others on charges of murder and sentenced them to life imprisonment. However, after serving a few months in prison, he appealed to the Supreme Court and came out on bail.

On hearing the appeal petitions in March this year, the apex court upheld the Madras High Court order. It also granted Rajagopal 100 days’ time and asked him to surrender before July 7, after his counsel sought time citing the hotelier’s health conditions.

Rajagopal surrendered before the court on July 8 before the sessions court in Chennai, a day after the stipulated time. Soon after surrendering, he was taken to Stanley hospital. Also, before surrendering, he was admitted in a private hospital on July 4.

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