Chennai: When it comes to happenings connected to (popular chain of restaurants) Saravana Bhavan owner P Rajagopal there is no dearth of drama & poignancy. 

The latest news is that the health of the 72-year-old Rajagopal, who is serving a jail term for the murder of the husband of a woman whom he illicitly coveted after, is deteriorating. 

Doctors treating him at the government-run Stanley hospital in Chennai, where he was admitted to after he surrendered before a court in Chennai on July 9, said Rajagopal's diabetes, blood-pressure and kidney-related issues are getting worse.

On the day when he was brought to the court in a stretcher following orders from the apex court, Rajagopal's health, according to insiders, was indeed bad. 

But as it happened, there was hardly any sympathy for him even in that state. And that is because, the man had pushed his luck too much all these days and attempted all that had been possible to circumvent the long arms of law to remain away from incarceration despite having been proved that he was responsible for the gruesome murder of Prince Santhakumar, the ill-fated husband of Jeevajothi, the hapless woman whose life has been thrown haywire just because Rajagopal's lustful eyes fell on him.

Immediately after Rajagopal surrendered and was sent to Jail (hospital), Jeevajothi was quoted in the local media thanking former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa. Jeevajothi said that if Jayalalithaa were alive, she would have gone and met her now and fallen at her feet in thanks.

That the case, despite having its genesis in the early 2000s, has reached the stage where Rajagopal is now rightfully sentenced is because of Jayalalithaa and her commitment to ensure justice to a wronged woman.

According to a former police officer, who is in the know of things of what twists and turns the case had taken, "Without Jayalalithaa's free hand to the police and her clear directions to them to go after the culprits in the case without any fear, things would not have come to this stage."
To understand the case, a bit of flashback is needed: Rajagopal, even as his popular chain of restaurants was making rapid growths in the 90s in Chennai, had also got a name for himself as a man with a 'roving eye.' Salacious and sleazy as it may sound now, but apparently he had a fetish for married women and he generally went after women from the household of his staff.

One such woman was Kruthika, his second wife. She was the wife of one of his workers. But Rajagopal silenced him with money and started living with Kruthika in a sprawling house in the KK Nagar area of Chennai --- ironically the same locality from where he famously had started his first ever restaurant in a small manner.

After Kruthika, Rajagopal's lecherous glances fell on Jeevajothi, who, then again, was the daughter of one of his employees. She was also working in one of his units. By the time, he went after her, Jeevajothi was already in love with maths teacher named Prince Shanthakumar (who was tutoring her brother.)

Rajagopal went after Jeevajothi in every manner possible and he resorted to every trick possible. Rajagopal also always cultivated the local police assiduously, as he perhaps knew that given his promiscuous ways, police support would always come in handy.

So Jeevajothi, despite reaching out to the police in 2000 and early 2001, could not get any action initiated against him. But at that time, it was suggested to her that she meet Jayalalithaa and seek her help. Jayalalithaa was not the chief minister in the early part of 2001. When Jeevajothi met Jayalalithaa, the latter asked her to stay brave and hold firm.