The Tamil Nadu government extended the tenure of Arumughaswamy Commission, which is probing the death of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, by three months for the ninth consecutive time on Saturday. Jayalalithaa had passed away in Apollo Hospital on December 5, 2016. The government extended the tenure as the deadline given to the Commission ended on Saturday. The commission last received an extension for four months on June 24.
The Tamil Nadu government set up an inquiry commission, headed by retired judge Arumughaswamy, on September 25, 2017, since AIADMK party members raised suspicions over former CM J Jayalalithaaâ€™s death. The Commission inquired more than 154 witnesses consisting of ministers, politicians, party members and family members of J Jayalalithaa's close aid VK Sasikala.
As Sasikala is serving her jail term at Parappana Agrahara prison in Bengaluru in the Disproportionate Assets case, she submitted an affidavit to the Commission.
In April 2019, Apollo Hospitals had made an appeal to the Supreme Court to stop the proceedings of the Commission, alleging that the latter was working in a biased manner. Justice Arumughaswamy immediately urged the Tamil Nadu government to file a petition to revoke the stay. However, the case is pending in the apex court.
In this backdrop, on June 24, the Tamil Nadu government extended the tenure by four months. However, since the Commission once again sought for an extension, the state government has once again provided an extension, for the ninth time.
Meanwhile, the DMK president Stalin has long been promising to investigate the death of the former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa if voted to power in the 2021 Assembly election in Tamil Nadu. On August 18, the DMK president once again questioned the delay of the investigation conducted by the Arumughaswamy Commission. The leader questioned the reason the single-judge commission could not come to a conclusion in the investigation that dragged for three years. The former Chief Minister was admitted to the hospital in an emergency condition in September 2016 and died 74 days later on December 5.