Apollo hospital had accused the Arumughaswamy Commission of digressing from its assigned scope, and of being prejudiced against the hospital.

Jaya death case Arumughaswamy panel slams Apollo says hospital is trying to stop probeFile Image/PTI
news Jaya death probe Friday, February 15, 2019 - 12:20

The Arumughaswamy Commission, which is investigation the death of Tamil Nadu’s former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, told the court that the Commission has the right to probe into the treatment provided to her in her final days.

The Commission was responding to a petition filed by Apollo hospital in the Madras High Court last week, in which the hospital accused the Commission of going beyond the scope of investigation assigned to it. The case was initially heard on Monday, in which justices R Subbiah and Krishnan Ramasamy ordered the Commission and the government of Tamil Nadu to file their responses by Friday.

In its response, the Commission stated that Apollo hospital has filed such a petition with the sole intention of obstructing the Commission from continuing its inquiry. Adding that the inquiry is at its final stage, the Commission also submitted that it has every right to probe into the reason for Jayalalithaa’s death, and the treatment provided to her from September 22, 2016 (the day she was admitted into the hospital) to December 5, 2016 (the day of her death). Till date, 147 witnesses, 56 doctors, and 22 medical staff members have deposed in front of the Commission, it stated.

The Commission also said that there are 302 complaints filed in various police stations suspecting foul play in the late CM’s death and that 30 persons have filed affidavits with the Commission related to those complaints.

Reiterating that the mistakes that were made while recording the testimonies of doctors were mere typographical errors, the Commission made it clear to the court that reasonable and fair chance was provided to Apollo hospitals during the inquiry.

Recording the submissions, the judges posted the case to February 22 before which Apollo hospital will file its response.

Background

Apollo hospitals had filed a petition with the Madras High Court, seeking a stay on the Commission’s proceedings related to medical treatment provided to Jayalalithaa. In its petition, the hospital had come down heavily on the Commission and had alleged that it had digressed from the original purpose for which the Commission was put in place.

“The inquiry lacks impartiality and objectivity and instead is vitiated by prejudiced, pre-determined and baseless conclusions in conducting the inquiry,” the petition had stated.

Slamming the Commission for causing ‘grave hardship and irreparable damage to the reputation’ of the hospital, Apollo had submitted the Commission’s scope was to inquire into the ‘circumstances and situation leading to the hospitalisation and subsequent treatment provided to her’ and not the adequacy or correctness of that treatment.

Meanwhile, the Arumughaswamy Commission has issued summons to Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam to depose before it on February 19.

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