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Apollo Hospitals Ltd move court against Jaya death probe panel
Tamil Nadu

Apollo Hospitals Ltd move court against Jaya death probe panel

S.Murari

Alleging bias and pre-determination, Apollo Hospitals has moved the Madras High Court to quash two GOs, which constituted Justice A Arumughaswamy Commmission of Inquiry and prescribed the terms of reference. The writ petition is likley to come up on Monday by a division bench of Justices R subbiah and R Krishnan.

The hospital, in its writ petition, has contended that the scope of the inquiry was to confine itself to gathering facts on the circumstances and the situation leading to hospitalisation of former Chief Minister J Jayalalitha on Sept  22, 2016 and subsequent treatment.

It was not to go into efficacy, correctness and adequacy and inadequacy of treatment given to her.

What was to be a simple inquiry with a time frame of 90 days, "has devolved into a roving inquiry with no direction", the hospital contended.

Specifically it referred the Commission’s order  of Jan 22 last alleging collusion, conspiracy, inaction and inappropriate treatment against the hospital and the repeated questioning of State Health secretary on the same lines of the allegations levelled by the panel’s standing counsel.

It showed it had already pre-determined the case against the hospital.The inquiry lacked impartiality and objectivity. Instead it was vitiated by prejudices, pre-determined and baseless conclusions.

There were also grave errors in recording depositions, which would lead to misinterpretations and misconceptions about not just the treatment rendered, but the tenets of medical science.

The petition sought to quash the records of the proceedings, findings and recording of evidence by the Commission pursuant to the two GOs of September 2017, and to restrain it from going into the correctness, adequacy and inadequacy of medical treatment given to Jayalalitha as it is in violation of the Commission of Inquiry Act and rules framed thereunder and violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution.

In its interim  interim prayer, it sought stay all proceedings relating to the medical treatment given by the hospital.

The petitioner contended there was a real danger of prejudice and bias apparent in the manner in which the Commission had been conducting the examination in chief of witnesses.

The nature of questions framed and recorded clearly disclosed a pre-determined mind against the hospital. It lacked neither the sanction nor the expertise and clearly exceeded its jurisdiction.

Apollo Hospitals said the panel has to be inquisitorial and not accusatory. But, it has stepped into the shoes of an accuser. Its imputations and unsubstantiated serious criminal charges to the hitherto unquestioned and bona fide medical treatment given to the late Chief Minister are unwarranted, the plea said.