Two months after the expenses incurred for former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's treatment was accessed by the media, the counsel for Apollo hospitals has taken objection to the bill being made available on public domain. Referring to the food and beverages section that came upto a whopping Rs.1.7 crore of the total expenses, senior counsel PS Raman stated that while the former CM consumed very simple food such as fruit juices, the rest of the bill was raked up by party leaders and functionaries.
As per the break up on the food bill, Rs 48 lakh was spent on providing food and refreshments to the media posted outside the hospital. The hospital had to also provide food for police personnel, attenders and escorts. The food bill of Secretaries and other government staff ran to Rs 19 lakh, while the bill for attenders and others in the party was Rs 17 lakh.
"We have during the course of the case, objected to bills regarding her treatment being leaked to the media. This is being done to make the hospital look bad," says advocate PS Raman, talking to TNM. "In the bill they have also made it look like a lot of money has been charged for the food. So I told the court that she has eaten only simple food like fruit juices. So the bill cannot be this much for her alone," he adds.
He further accused the Commission of threatening action against doctors who don't appear before it, through statements in the media.
In his submissions before a Division Bench of Justices R Subbiah and Krishnan Ramasamy, the senior council said, āAlmost every doctor, summoned by the Commission as witness, was harangued by the commission by asking, āAre you trying to cover up for Apolloās fault? Such suggestive questioning of the doctors by Mr. Arumughaswamy himself amounted to hostile behaviour."
Thirty three doctors have sworn in an affidavit before the Madras HC alleging ill-treatment by the commission.
āIt is unfortunate that the doctors who appeared before the commission were taken aback by the entire line of proceedings and the manner in which the evidence was recorded. Commission has been confronting medical and paramedical witnesses with Apollo in mind,ā said senior counsel PS Raman.
He also told the court that the panel did not have enough medical experts as part of the proceedings and alleged that their lack of understanding of the subject, was putting the hospital's reputation at risk.