HC refuses to stay Jaya Panel's proceedings

A division bench of justices R Subbiah and Krishnan Ramasamy directed the Tamil Nadu Government and the Commission to file their counter affidavits by February 15. They said a decision on passing interim orders would be taken only after filing of the counter affidavits by the government and the Commission. PTI photo.

Madras High Court on Monday refused to stay proceedings of the Justice A Arumughaswamy Commission going into the hospitalisation and subsequent death of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa as sought by Apollo Hospitals where the late leader underwent treatment for 75 days.

Apollo Hospitals had filed a petition seeking to quash government orders that brought medical treatment to Jayalalithaa under the Terms of Reference of the one-man commission. The hospital had also sought independent medical board comprising specialist doctors to probe issues pertaining to treatment provided to Jayalalithaa if the court thought that the treatment matters came under the ToR.

A division bench of justices R Subbiah and Krishnan Ramasamy directed the Tamil Nadu Government and the Commission to file their counter affidavits by February 15. They said a decision on passing interim orders would be taken only after filing of the counter affidavits by the government and the Commission.

The Commission was constituted in August 2017 to dispel any doubts about Jayalalithaa’s hospitalisation and death – in the past 18 months, the panel has summoned more than 100 persons, including Health Minister C Vijayabhaskar, Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan, former bureaucrats, relatives of V K Sasikala and late Jayalalithaa’s personal security guards.

The Commission was mandated to give its report in three months, but it has got four extensions so far – the latest will expire on February 24. Apollo Hospitals, whose doctors appeared before the Commission, has been demanding constitution of a medical board contending that the panel has made mistakes in translating medical terms.

“The examination in chief by the second respondent (Commission) has progressively become accusatorial questioning the integrity and even medical knowledge and competency of the medical witnesses of the petitioner,” the hospital said in its petition.

It also said 55 doctors from different departments have so far deposed before the Commission and found it very difficult to “explain the complexity of medical and scientific facts and protocols and procedures, adopted during the treatment.”

Jayalalithaa was wheeled into Apollo Hospitals on September 22, 2016, and died on December 5, 2016, after suffering a cardiac arrest the previous day.

 

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HC refuses to stay Jaya Panel's proceedings

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