Madras HC rejects plea to stop probe by Arumughaswamy panel

Chennai: The Madras High Court has rejected the plea by the Apollo Hospitals to stop the probe by the Justice Arumughaswamy Commission into the death of late chief minister J Jayalalithaa.

The hospital had moved the court against the commission stating that it lacked medical expertise to understand the case. It wanted the setting up of a committee comprising experts from 21 departments to get to the bottom of the case.

But the Madras High Court today rejected the plea and allowed Justice Arumughaswamy to go ahead with the probe. It cautioned the commission to stick to the parameters set by the government.

Jayalalithaa died in Apollo Hospitals after being under treatment for 75 days in 2016. Since no one was allowed to visit her, there was suspicion in the minds of the people about the treatment and the cause of her death.

When Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam agreed to merge his faction of the AIADMK with that of Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami, he laid the condition that their party supremo’s death be probed. Keeping his side of the promise, the CM appointed Justice Arumughaswamy to probe the circumstances leading to the death of Jayalalithaa.

Politicians, Jayalalithaa’s relatives and aides, apart from doctors from Apollo Hospitals have been summoned by the commission. They have recorded their statements and have been cross-examined by Jayalalithaa’s aide Sasikala’s counsel. But the hospital contested some of the observations of the commission and said it lacked medical expertise. Hence the present case.

NT Bureau