Jayalalitha death: SC asks AIIMS to nominate a panel of specialists to assist commission

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New Delhi–The Supreme Court has asked the Director of AIIMS, New Delhi, to nominate a panel of doctors and specialists in the fields of treatment of the ailments suffered by the former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to assist the Commission of Inquiry constituted by the state government to gather facts on her death.

The Tamil Nadu government had appointed the inquiry commission headed by Justice A. Arumughaswamy, a retired Madras High Court judge, on September 25, 2017.

A bench of Justices S. Abdul Nazeer and Krishna Murari said it is just and proper to constitute a medical board to assist the commission in disposal of the case.

“We request the Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, to nominate a panel of doctors, specialist in the fields of treatment of the ailments as suffered by the late Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.

“Needless to say that the Commission has to furnish the said Medical Board, so constituted, with complete records of the proceedings. The Medical Board, so appointed, is permitted to participate in all further proceedings of the Commission and furnish a copy of the report to the Commission,” it said.

On November 30, the top court had said it will pass orders to allow the setting up of a medical board of AIIMS doctors to help the Justice Arumughaswamy Commission of Inquiry. The order in the matter was uploaded recently.

Apollo Hospitals had moved the top court alleging that the panel was biased, violated the principles of natural justice, and also conducting the fact-finding exercise outside its jurisdiction. The panel had denied the allegation of bias.

The top court said having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, “we are of the view that it is just and proper for the Commission to furnish the documents, the depositions and the records as available in the records of the Commission on an application to be made by the appellant-Hospital and respondent no 3 (V.K. Sasikala)”.

The bench also permitted Apollo to make an appropriate application seeking permission to cross-examine/recall of any witness or individual including those witnesses whose evidence has since been closed and also lead its own evidence. “If such an application is filed, we request the Commission to consider the same and pass appropriate orders thereon,” it added.

The top court also asked the commission to permit Sasikala to lead her evidence at an appropriate stage of the inquiry

The commission was tasked to examine the circumstances which led to the hospitalisation of Jayalalithaa on September 22, 2016, and also the nature of treatment, to determine the cause of death. (IANS)



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