Jayalalithaa death probe: Apollo Hospitals moves HC against Arumughaswamy panel

Apollo Hospitals claimed that there is a real danger of prejudice and bias apparent in the manner in which the Commission has been conducting the examination in chief of witnesses in late CM's death.

Published: 09th February 2019 06:37 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th February 2019 06:37 PM   |  A+A-

Jayalalithaa

Former Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa (File | EPS)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Alleging bias and pre-determination, the Apollo Hospitals Enterprises Limited on Greams Road has moved the Madras High Court to quash the two GOs, which constituted Justice  A Arumughaswamy Commission of Inquiry itself and prescribed the terms of reference.

It contended that the scope of the inquiry was to confine itself to gathering facts on the circumstances and the situation leading to the hospitalisation of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on September 22, 2016 and subsequent treatment. It was not to go into the efficacy, correctness and adequacy and inadequacy of the treatment given to her.

What was to be a simple inquiry with a time frame of 90 days has devolved into a roving inquiry with no direction. The inquiry lacked impartiality and objectivity. Instead it is vitiated by prejudices, pre-determined and baseless conclusions. There were also grave errors in recording the depositions, which would lead to misinterpretations and misconceptions about not just the treatment rendered but the tenets of medical science.

ALSO READ:​ Jaya death probe panel accuses Tamil Nadu health secretary of conspiring with Apollo hospital

The petition sought to quash the records of the proceedings, findings and recording of the evidence by the Commission pursuant to the two GOs issued in September 2017, which constituted the Commission and prescribed the terms of reference and to restrain it from going into the correctness, adequacy and inadequacy of the medical treatment given to the former CM, as it is in violation of the Commission of Inquiry Act and the Rules framed there under and violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution. Its interim prayer is to stay all proceedings relating the medical treatment given by the hospital.

The petitioner further contended that there is a real danger of prejudice and bias apparent in the manner in which the Commission has been conducting the examination in chief of witnesses. The nature of questions framed and recorded clearly disclosed a pre-determined mind against the hospital. It lacked neither the sanction nor the expertise and clearly exceeded its jurisdiction.

ALSO READ: Jayalalithaa had mood swings during hospitalisation: Doctor to panel

The Commission's order dated January 22 last alleging collusion, conspiracy, inaction and inappropriate treatment against the hospital and the repeated questioning of the State Health secretary on the same lines of the allegations levelled by the Commission's standing counsel clearly evidenced that it had already pre-determined the case against the hospital. Being a fact-finding body, it has to be inquisitorial and not adversarial or accusatory. However, it has stepped into the shoes of an accuser making the hospital of conspiracy, collusion, inaction and inappropriate treatment.

Its imputations and unsubstantiated serious criminal charges to the hitherto unquestioned and bona fide medical treatment given to the late Chief Minister, are unwarranted, the petition added

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