P Rajagopal, founder of popular South Indian food chain 'Saravana Bhavan', passed away on Thursday following a cardiac arrest in a Chennai hospital. Rajagopal, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering an employee in October 2001 to marry his wife, had surrendered before a sessions court last week.
He had surrendered on July after the Supreme Court rejected his plea seeking more time. However, the Madras High Court allowed him to admit in a private hospital.
Passing an interim order on a petition filed by Rajagopal's son, a bench comprising justices M M Sundresh and M Nirmal Kumar directed the state government and the prison authorities to transfer the hotelier from the Government Stanley Medical College Hospital to the Vijaya Hospital.
"Considering the medical reports and the condition of the detenu, we are inclined to permit the transfer," the bench said.
71-year-old Rajagopal 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.
In his petition, Rajagopal's son claimed his father's condition worsened after he was admitted to Stanley hospital, following his surrender in a sessions court on July 9.
The founder of popular South Indian food chain Saravana Bhavan had surrendered along with another accused to serve life term after the Supreme Court rejected his plea seeking more time on grounds of ill-health.
While upholding the life sentence awarded to Rajagopal for murdering an employee in October 2001 to marry his wife, the Supreme Court had ordered him to surrender in the trial court on July 7.