The 177-year-old Madras Medical College perhaps has the oldest medical student in the country. N Saravanapavan, a 50-year-old Sri Lankan Tamil, has been a student of the famed medical institution, one of the oldest in the country, for 24 years now, occupying a room in the college hostel.
The case tumbled out after Saravanapavan approached the Madras high court to erase certain adverse remarks on his travel documents, so that he could travel hassle-free between India and Sri Lanka.
"He took his second year examinations 16 times," government advocates told the court earlier this week. On paper, he is in the final year of his MBBS course now. All these years, he kept filing petitions and managed to extend his student visa, which is set to expire on Friday (July 13). Saravanapavan has already left the country and is hopeful of returning to complete the course after getting the visa extended, his counsel said.
He was a prime accused in the Chennai airport bomb blast case of 1984 in which 33 people were killed. He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1987, only to be acquitted of all charges by the Madras high court in April 2000. After his conviction, Saravanapavan came out of jail on bail, returned to his country and joined the MBBS course in 1988 after coming to India on a student visa.