"We want to know who is running the government in her absence?"

Public has the right to know Traffic Ramaswamy after PIL on Jayas health dismissed
news Court Thursday, October 06, 2016 - 16:36

The Madras High Court, on Thursday, dismissed a petition by Traffic Ramaswamy seeking clear information and photographic proof on CM Jayalalithaa’s health condition, calling it a publicity stunt. Ramaswamy, however, sticks to his guns, saying that it is the right of a citizen to know about the health of an elected public servant.

Speaking to The News Minute, he said, “She is a Chief Minister, a public servant. The public has elected her and we have every right to know about her health. We want to know who is running the government in her absence? Who is doing the work of the Chief Minister?”

The petition was dismissed by a bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice R Mahadevan on Thursday. “It is condemnable for the Chief Justice to say that it is for publicity. Earlier, when the case came for hearing, the judge had said that the state government needs to inform the public about the Chief Minister’s health,” said Ramaswamy.

He added that he has filed many cases in the past and the Chief Justice should have known that he does so on genuine grounds. Ramaswamy says that he will be filing a petition in the Supreme Court asking for the information denied him by the HC.

In the absence of clear information, he said, rumours and speculations were doing the rounds on social media. “People keep asking me about the Chief Minister’s health and I also keep getting messages on WhatsApp. If the government informs the public about the Chief Minister’s health, these rumours will definitely reduce,” he said.

He also demanded once again that the state government publish images of the Chief Minister for the information of the public.

Traffic Ramaswamy filed a PIL seeking the “real” status of the CM’s health on Monday.

On Tuesday, when the matter was not listed for the day, Ramaswamy had approached the High Court and urged it to take up the matter immediately as it was of utmost importance.

The Division Bench of Justice MM Sundresh and R Mahadevan had asked the government pleader to get back on the details regarding her health after consulting the government. The bench had also added, "Though the hospital authorities have issued some statements, the government is duty bound to provide the status of her health."

Ramaswamy’s PIL had also asked the court to direct the Principal Secretary to the Governor to appoint an interim Chief Minister.

Read: Madras HC dismisses PIL seeking update on Jayalalithaa’s health, says it’s for publicity

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