Apollo Hospitals, on Monday, told the Madras high court that if the intention of the state government was to probe the efficacy of treatment provided to former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, then it should have appointed a panel of expert doctors and not a one-man commission comprising former high court judge Arumugaswamy.
Arguing on a petition filed by Apollo seeking a stay on the Arumugaswamy Commission’s proceedings concerning the medical treatment provided to Jayalalithaa, senior lawyer Ariyama Sundaram alleged that the Commission was operating in a biased manner and that it’s probing of the efficiency of the treatment was beyond the terms of reference of the Commission. He also added that the panel was put in place to go into the chronology of events and verify and explain the medical records submitted to the Commission, and not to delve into the correctness of the treatment.
The counsel for Apollo also stated that the terms of reference of the Commission was only to probe the circumstances leading to Jayalalithaa’s hospitalisation and that the Commission was bound by the Commission of Inquiries Act under which it has been set up. Advocate Ariyama Sundaram also sought the court to restrain from passing any adverse findings against the hospital, which could cause irreparable damage to the reputation of the hospital.
The stand-off between the hospital and the inquiry commission reached the Madras high court when the hospital filed a petition slamming the Commission for digressing from the original purpose for which it was constituted. The hospital had further accused the Commission of being partial and lacking objectivity while conducting the inquiry. The Commission in its response filed in the high court stated that it had the right to investigate the treatment provided to her during her last days and accused Apollo of obstructing the probe.
The arguments were heard by a division bench consisting of justices R Subbiah and Krishnan Ramasamy, who adjourned the hearing to Tuesday.