TN panel ‘indicts’ Sasikala for events leading to Jayalalithaa’s death, seeks probe

NEW DELHI: A probe panel inquiring the death of former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa has recommended a probe against her aide VK Sasikala and former health officials.
In its report, the Justice A Arumughaswamy Commission of Inquiry (CoI) said that it “indicts” Sasikala for the events that led to Jayalalithaa’s death and recommended a probe into the matter.
The report was tabled by the Tamil Nadu government in the assembly on Tuesday.
It said that former health minister C Vijayabaskar, the then health secretary J Radhakrishnan and KS Sivakumar, a medical doctor, “have to be found fault with and investigation is to be ordered.”
It also recommended probe against the then chief secretary Rama Mohana Rao and others which includes doctors.
Vijayabaskar is an AIADMK leader and a legislator.
The Arumughaswamy commission had earlier presented the report to chief minister MK Stalin.
The report questioned as to why the former chief minister was not taken abroad for treatment even after Dr Richard Beale was prepared to take her overseas.
It also said that even after eminent doctors from UK and US, who had reached Apollo hospital on the invitation from the state government, had suggested angioplasty, which was not conducted.
“They (hospital) successfully threw it to the wind on the pretext of postponing it to achieve their aim under some pressure. Hence, investigation is to be ordered,” it said.
The CoI’s Terms of Reference (ToR) was to inquire into the circumstances and situation leading to Jayalalithaa’s hospitalisation on 22 September, 2016 and subsequent treatment provided till her demise on 5 December, 2016.
In its finding, as regards to the first part of the ToR on circumstances leading to the late AIADMK supremo’s hospitalisation, the Commission said it “has not found anything abnormal or unnatural” in the conduct of the people including Sasikala.
Adequate care was taken to shift Jayalalithaa to the Apollo Hospital promptly without delay, it said.
On the other aspect of the ToR, the Commission indicted people including Sasikala. The CoI in its 475-page report goes into allegation of conspiracy against Sasikala and her relatives based on a reportage in a Tamil magazine.
The panel said that it was very clear that, “only on strong suspicion,” Jayalalithaa sent Sasikala out of her Poes Garden residence (from November 2011 to March 2012).
Subsequently, after getting a letter from Sasikala that she would not interfere in politics, Jayalalithaa allowed her back into her Poes Garden residence and the leader kept her “at a distance.”
On a plea to cross-examine former chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswamy, the panel said the applicant has not given sufficient reasons for it.
(With inputs from agencies)

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