‘Why can’t we order exhumation of the body of former CM’: Madras HC raises doubts over Jaya’s death

The Madras High Court today issued notices to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the state and central governments on a plea seeking appointment of a committee to go into the medical records relating to treatment given to later Tamil Nadu chief ministe
File pic - Jayalalithaa - India TV
India TV Politics Desk Chennai December 29, 2016 12:38 IST

The Madras High Court today issued notices to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the state and central governments on a plea seeking appointment of a committee to go into the medical records relating to treatment given to later Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa.

The vacation bench of Justice S Vaidyanathan and Justice Parthiban raised doubts over the circumstances under which the AIADMK passed away and asked the PM, state and centre ‘why can’t we order exhumation of the body of former chief minister’.

“Media has raised a lot of doubts, personally I also have doubts in Jayalalithaa's death,” Justice Vaidyalingam said while expressing his unhappiness over secrecy maintained by people around the deceased leader.

Pointing out that no Revenue Division Officer (RDO) was allowed to see Jayalalithaa’s body and also no medical records were furnished, Justice Vaidyalingam added, “When she was admitted in hospital, it was said that she was on proper diet. At least after her death now, truth should be revealed.”

Recalling a similar situation in the late 1980s when the then chief minister MG Ramachandran was taking treatment both in Chennai and in the United States, the HC bench said, "When MGR was taking treatment, the government released video of the chief minister."

The bench adjourned the case to January 9 for further hearing.

The HC’s observation came while hearing a plea filed by AIADMK worker PA Joseph. In his plea, Joseph listed the sequence of events since Jayalalithaa's admission to Apollo Hospital on September 22 and claimed that the secrecy preceding her death gave rise to grave doubts in the minds of the people.

“In newspapers that the chief minister was recovering, and that she was eating, signing papers and even conducting meetings. And then suddenly she was dead,” the petitioner said.

Jayalalithaa was declared on December 5 after 75 days of hospitalization.

Joseph pleaded that a commission must be set up to peruse all the records, reports and documents in possession of the government as well as the hospital and look into "several questionable incidents, including her sudden hospitalisation, reported recovery and the subsequent cardiac arrest resulting in her death.

The commission, he said, should have at least three retired Supreme Court judges. He added that the commission should also inquire into the affixing of Jayalalithaa's thumb impression on election forms of her party nominees in by-polls, her advice to the Tamil Nadu Governor while still on ventilator and the ‘drama’ played out at the Apollo Hospital premises on December 4-5.

Unless all the relevant documents were taken into the court's custody, there was a great possibility that the same could be tampered with, the PIL claimed.

It also referred to the hospital's periodical medical bulletins which had claimed that the former AIADMK supremo was recovering, registration of 43 cases by the police and the arrests of some persons who had raised doubts over Jayalalithaa's health condition.

Secrecy maintained by the Tamil Nadu government during the treatment of its late chief minister Jayalalithaa has raised several questions. Nobody was allowed access to Jayalalithaa at Apollo Hospital and many dignitaries who visited her with deep concern were denied an opportunity to convey their wishes in person.

 

 
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