The Justice Arumughaswamy (retired) commission constituted in August 2017 to probe the death of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has requested yet another extension to finish its enquiry on the 2016 death of the former CM.
According to reports, the one-man commission has asked until June 24, after four more months, to submit his final report. This is the fourth extension taken to look into the death of Jayalalithaa. Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvan, who might depose on February 19, will be the last witness to be questioned by the commission.
Among the others who are summoned for deposition are London-based intensivist Richard Beale and the editor of â€˜M Tughlaqâ€™ newspaper, Gurumurthy. A summons has already been sent to Dr Beale via video link to the deposition.
The commission was initially given a three-month period to enquire into the former CMâ€™s hospitalisation and death. This was later extended to six months till December 2017. The commission had sought and was granted another four-month extension just as it was due to submit its report. The last extension granted to the one-man commission was on October 24, 2018, when the Tamil Nadu government accepted the commissionâ€™s request.
Meanwhile, the commission has also slammed Apollo hospitals for obstructing the investigation of the commission into her death. Replying to a petition filed by the latter in the Madras High Court, the commission said it had to right to probe the treatment provided to her in the final days.
The commission was a bargain between Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswamy and Deputy CM O Panneerselvan, both warring factions within the AIADMK. The announcement to constitute a panel was made in 2017, one day after TN Forest Minister C Sreenivasan admitted publicly that AIADMK leaders had lied about the former Chief Ministerâ€™s stay in the hospital.