SC asks Apollo Hospitals to respond to Tamil Nadu govt’s plea to allow inquiry into former CM J Jayalalithaa’s death

SC asks Apollo Hospitals to respond to Tamil Nadu govt’s plea to allow inquiry into former CM J Jayalalithaa’s death

Jayalalithaa was treated for 75 days at the Apollo Hospitals in Chennai until her death on December 5, 2016

Former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. Credit: DH File PhotoFormer Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. Credit: DH File Photo

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Apollo Hospitals Enterprises Ltd to file its written response to a plea by the Tamil Nadu government to vacate the stay on proceedings of an Inquiry Commission to probe the death of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in 2016.

A bench of Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Sanjiv Khanna gave one week’s time to the hospital to file the written compilation and related documents.

The court posted the matter for consideration in December.

Earlier, the bench had issued notice to the hospital, on whose plea the top court had on April 26, 2019, stayed the proceedings, including the summoning of all records by the Justice A Arumughaswamy Commission.

The Tamil Nadu government, in an application, contended that the tenure of the Commission has been extended eight times since it was set up on September 27, 2017 and it was incurring Rs 4.26 lakh per month towards salary for the staff.

The Commission had already examined 154 witnesses, including 56 doctors from the Apollo and five from AIIMS, 12 government doctors, including a medical board of five doctors, 22 paramedical staff and 59 other witnesses, it said.

The state government also alleged the Apollo Hospitals, which readily acceded to and participated in the proceedings of the Inquiry Commission, adopted dilatory tactics to unnecessarily delay the inquiry and publication of the final report. It also asked the court to give an early date of hearing.

Jayalalithaa was treated for 75 days at the Apollo Hospitals in Chennai until her death on December 5, 2016.

The hospital has challenged the Madras High Court’s order of April 4, 2019, whereby it had refused to stay the proceedings, including the summoning of all records by the Commission.

The high court had said though the apprehension of bias may be justified, the Commission should be allowed to continue the proceedings as its findings may not be binding but would determine the future course of action by the state government.

As many as 30 volumes of medical records, CDs have been furnished before the Commission by

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