Thambidurai, OPS, doc to appear before Jaya Commission

People paying their respects to the late AIADMK supremo and former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on her first death anniversary at her memorial in Chennai. (PTI Photo)

The Justice A Arumughaswamy Commission looking into the hospitalisation and subsequent death of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa has summoned three AIADMK leaders, including Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, and British expert Dr Richard Beale to appear before it.

The Commission has also re-issued summons to Tamil Nadu deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam and Health Minister C Vijayabhaskar to depose before it regarding the AIADMK general secretary’s 75-day stay at Apollo Hospitals in 2016.

The Commission, which has so far examined more than 150 people including former bureaucrats, personnel in-charge of Jayalalithaa’s security and family members of V K Sasikala, has asked the three leaders to appear before it personally and would conduct the inquiry with Dr Beale via video conferencing.

While Panneerselvam and Thambidurai have been summoned to appear on January 8 and January 11 respectively, Vijayabhaskar has been asked to appear on January 7. Dr Beale, who is based in London, is expected to be grilled on January 9.

Dr Beale, an intensivist specialist, flew to Chennai more than once in October 2016 to examine Jayalalithaa’s health and was part of the panel that treated the late chief minister. Later, he also addressed a press conference organised by the Tamil Nadu government in February 2017 to dispel any doubts about Jayalalithaa’s hospitalisation.

Thambidurai, Panneerselvam and Vijayabhaskar were part of the Jayalalithaa cabinet and were “regularly briefed” about the late leader's treatment and health, according to Apollo Hospitals. However, Panneerselvam has punched holes in suggestions that he was consulted at every stage saying the Sasikala family kept everyone away from the floor where Jayalalithaa was being treated.

Sasikala, the jailed AIADMK leader, has submitted a voluminous affidavit in which she had spoken in detail about “massive stress” that the former chief minister endured after a trial court in Bengaluru convicted her in the disproportionate assets (DA) case in 2014 leading to deterioration in her health.

The commission has been mandated to inquire into the “circumstances and situation leading to the hospitalisation of the late Hon'ble Chief Minister on September 22, 2016, and subsequent treatment provided till her unfortunate demise on December 5, 2016.”

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Thambidurai, OPS, doc to appear before Jaya Commission

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