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High Court refuses to stop Jaya death probe
By Nirmala Joseph February 12, 2019
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CHENNAI: The reputed Apollo Hospitals, where former chief minister J. Jayalalithaa died after a 75-day hospitalisation, on Monday lost a plea seeking stay on the Arumughaswamy Commission that probed her death. The court has fixed the next hearing for Friday, Feb.15.

The hospital claimed that the Justice Arumughaswamy Commission, which is probing the death of Jayalalithaa, is “prejudiced.” It said the hospital will be subjected to “grave hardship and irreparable harm” if the proceedings are not stayed.

“The real danger of prejudice and bias is apparent in the manner in which the probe panel is conducting the examination of witnesses,” a petition filed by the hospital read.

Apollo also alleged that the Arumughaswamy Commission is “prejudging the facts and has concluded prematurely that the hospital is at wrong.” Besides, the probe panel is acting beyond its jurisdiction and in lack of expertise to understand complex medical conditions.

Popularly known as ‘Amma’ or mother, Jayalalithaa was taken to the Apollo Hospital on Sept.22, 2016, and treated in the hospital for 75 days before she passed away on Dec.5.

The panel was constituted in 2017 to probe into circumstances that led to the death. It was asked to inquire into the correctness, adequacy or inadequacy of medical treatment provided to her at the hospital.

Apollo also urged the High Court to appoint an independent medical board, comprising specialist doctors not associated with the state government, to probe issues pertaining to treatment provided to Jayalalithaa, if the court thought that the terms of reference of the Commission of Inquiry would also necessitate a probe into the treatment provided to her.

The reports of the medical board could be placed before the High Court in a time-bound manner, the hospital stated. In an affidavit filed in support of its first writ petition, the hospital said, Jayalalithaa could not survive despite being given the best possible medical treatment.

The hospital had earlier urged the commission to set up a medical board to look into the treatment which was given to Jayalalithaa but the request was denied by the commission.

Last year in December, the Apollo Hospitals had petitioned the commission to bring 21 specialists on board and set up a medical board to examine the medical records related to the hospitalisation of Jayalalithaa.

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