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‘Jayalalithaa Would Have Been Alive…’ TN Law Minister Says Plan to Fly CM Abroad for Treatment Was Sabotaged

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Chennai: Alleging foul play in the death of J Jayalalithaa, Tamil Nadu law minister CV Shanmugam on Monday said the AIADMK matriarch and then CM would have been alive had she been given “proper care” during her hospitalisation in 2016. The minister also alleged that a plan to fly Jayalalithaa abroad for treatment was sabotaged.

“Who decided against an angiogram on Jayalalithaa? A case of foul play should be registered. The mystery surrounding her death necessitates a case and an investigation on the people concerned,” Shanmugam said.

Jayalalithaa died on December 5, 2016 and a Commission of Inquiry was constituted the next year by the ruling AIADMK government following allegations and suspicions surrounding her death.

PTI reported that a counsel for the Commission has alleged in a petition that Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan colluded and conspired with Apollo Hospital and “inappropriate treatment” was provided to her.
The commission’s counsel has also reportedly alleged that the then chief secretary P Rama Mohana Rao, at the time of Jayalalithaa’s hospitalisation in 2016, had “purposely given false evidence”. The allegations were strongly refuted by both the health secretary and the hospital, while the former chief secretary said he was not aware of the petition.

The standing counsel for the Justice A Arumughaswamy Commission, Mohammed Jafarullah Khan, in a petition before the panel has sought to implead Radhakrishnan and Rao as respondents. The counsel’s petition alleges that the health secretary made contradictory statements before the panel and the official was also against taking Jayalalithaa abroad for treatment.

Radhakrishnan dismissed the allegations levelled against him as “unfounded, baseless and wild” and said that he had, so far, not been served a copy of the petition filed by the commission’s counsel.

The allegation that he “conspired and colluded” with Apollo Hospital and acted like its spokesperson was “not only false, but also slanderous”, the top official said. He said the treating doctors from Apollo and specialist consultants had concurred with the line of treatment for the former chief minister. “Whether to take her or not to a foreign destination for treatment was purely a medical decision for which it would not be correct to hold an official like him responsible,” he said.

The official said at no point was any procedure or treatment that was “unavailable” in India sought for her. He said that later it was ascertained that the former chief minister herself did not personally want to be treated abroad.

The Apollo Hospital rejected the allegations and in a statement said, “It is surprising that the commission is itself filing this petition against other parties.” It said the proceedings before the inquiry panel cannot be “accusatorial” in nature.

(With PTI inputs)





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