The 72-year-old died after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Saravana Bhavan at KK Nagar in Chennai in 1981. He opened franchises across the country and overseas, from Singapore to Canada.
And then things went wrong.
From a remote village to ruling the taste buds of Indians across the world, Saravana Bhavan founder and "Dosa King" P Rajagopal saw it all - a meteoric rise due to dint of hard work and landing behind bars for obsession for a married woman much younger to him. Jeevajothi too was the daughter of Rajagopal's former assistant manager, a man called Ramasamy. He often spoke to her over the telephone, gave her gifts of jewellery and expensive sarees, and paid for her medical treatment.
Rajagopal appeared before the court in Chennai last week in a stretcher and breathing through an oxygen mask to surrender. "Santhakumar was instructed to get himself tested for AIDS and other such diseases, which he refused outright", investigators said. Apparently, an astrologer had told him that Jeevajothi would bring him great luck, and he was advised to marry her. But after the couple refused, Rajagopal carried out Shantakumar's kidnapping and his subsequent murder.
The Indian owner of the global restaurant chain Saravana Bhavan, who was convicted of murder, has died at the age of 71, his lawyer says. Rajagopal allegedly used to harass the couple to break off the marriage.
Rajagopal was convicted for killing an employee of his restaurant chain, Prince Shantakumar, in 2001.
On November 23, 2001, Rajagopal surrendered.
2003 - Fresh charges filed against Rajagopal for intimidating Jeevajtohi and offering her Rs 6 lakh as bribe.
The high court had in 2009 enhanced to life term the 10-year imprisonment awarded by a local court to Rajagopal and eight others in the murder case.
Though Rajagopal sought relief from the Supreme Court, it upheld the high court order in March. The victim's body was found in Kolli hills in October 2001.