Saravana Bhavan founder P Rajagopal died on Thursday morning following a heart attack at a hospital in Chennai, days after he surrendered before the Madras High Court after the Supreme Court refused to delay his sentence in a 2001 murder case.
According to reports, Rajagopal was put on ventilator on Saturday night after he suffered a massive cardiac arrest.
Rajagopal had surrendered in the Tamil Nadu court on July 9 to serve his life imprisonment for murdering his employee in 2001.
This came after the Supreme Court on the same day refused to grant relief to P Rajagopal who sought a direction for more time to surrender on medical grounds.
The apex court had in March upheld the life imprisonment of P Rajagopal for murdering employee, Prince Shantakumar, in October 2001 to marry his wife on the advice of an astrologer.
The bench headed by Justice NV Ramana had given Rajagopal time till July 7 to surrender.
The top court’s decision came on the Madras High Court order upholding his life imprisonment.
The body of Santhakumar was found by forest officials at Perumalmalai in Kodaikanal range in October 2001. It was buried in the Kodaikanal municipal burial ground. Later, the body was identified to be that of Santhakumar and a chargesheet filed for offences under section 302(murder) 364 (abduction) and 201 (destruction of evidence) IPC, following which the alleged conspiracy came to light.
On March 20, 2009, the Madras High Court convicted P Rajagopal, proprietor of the Saravana Bhavan hotels, under section 302 IPC (punishment for murder) and sentenced him to undergo life imprisonment along with the five others.
The High Court had enhanced the 10-year sentence given by a trial court.