The Madras High Court on Thursday rejected Apollo Hospital’s plea seeking to restrict the a commission looking into J Jayalalithaa’s death from examining the adequacy of medical treatment given to her, reported PTI. The former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister died on December 5, 2016.
The court observed the terms of reference for the constitution of the Justice A Arumughaswamy Commission of Inquiry empowered it to go into the “appropriateness, efficacy, adequacy or inadequacy” of the treatment.
The court also dismissed the hospital’s petition seeking the setting up of an independent medical board to assist the panel’s inquiry, saying that the probe was almost complete. The hospital had also accused the inquiry panel of bias and prejudice against them.
In September 2017, The Tamil Nadu government had set up a Commission of Inquiry under Justice A Arumughaswamy after state ministers made contradicting claims about their access to Jayalalithaa while she was hospitalised. The commission was asked to “inquire into the circumstances and situation leading to the hospitalisation of Jayalalithaa on September 22, 2016, and the subsequent treatment provided to her” till her death.
However, the bench of Justices R Subbaih and Krishnan Ramasamy pulled up the Commission of Inquiry for filing a counter statement against Apollo Hospital’s petition and for going beyond the scope of the investigation in some of the observations it had made in that counter statement, reported The Hindu.
“The Commission of Inquiry is a-fact finding body and...need not attribute ‘collusion’, ‘conspiracy’ or ‘fraud’,” The Hindu quoted them as saying. “Therefore, we find some force in the submission of the senior counsel for the petitioner that the commission exceeded its scope and ambit in conducting inquiry proceedings by attributing negligence or collusion against the petitioner hospital even before the submission of final report to the government.”