Apollo Hospitals gets SC to halt Jayalalithaa death probe after Madras HC refusal
26 April 2019
The Supreme Court has ordered a stay on all proceedings of the Arumughaswamy Commission, which is probing the circumstances that led to the death of Tamil Nadu’s former chief minister J Jayalalithaa.
The apex court issued the stay order on a petition filed by Apollo Hospitals challenging the order of the Madras High Court dismissing the hospital’s plea to stay the proceedings.
The Supreme Court bench ordered a stay within minutes of starting the proceedings, despite the counsel for the Commission arguing that 90 per cent of the inquiry has been completed.
Apollo Hospitals moved the Supreme Court after the Madras high court refused to stay the inquiry conducted by the Arumughaswamy Commission. The hospital wanted the commission to constitute a 21-member expert medical committee to look into the medical aspects of the treatment provided to the former chief minister J Jayalalithaa. Apollo Hospitals had argued that the commission did not have the expertise to make sense of the medical records, decisions and the nature of the treatment provided to Jayalalithaa.
The Apollo Hospital move comes after doctors at Chennai's Apollo Hospitals, where the former AIADMK chief spent her final weeks, were summoned by the commission and also sought hospital records.
The Commission had also engaged in a court battle with Apollo Hospitals accusing it of obstructing the probe.
The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi allowed the hospital’s demand that the probe proceedings to be put on hold.
The Tamil Nadu government had objected to the top court's stay, saying that 90 per cent of the investigation has been completed.
Besides the Apollo doctors, chief minister O Panneerselvam had also not appeared before the Commission despite multiple summons issued to him by retired Justice Arumughaswamy.
The Commission to inquire into the death of former Chief minister J Jayalalithaa was announced in August 2017, when Edappadi K Palaniswami was the chief minister.
Jayalalathaa died in Apollo hospitals in December 2016, following a 75-day hospitalisation.
The Commission, after multiple extensions, was to submit its report this June.