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Madras HC judge expresses doubts over Jayalalithaa’s death, asks 'Why can’t we order exhumation of body'

Even as Jayalalithaa’s close aide Sasikala Natarajan was declared the AIADMK leader by the ruling party in the General Council meeting, the Madras High Court on Thursday expressed doubts over the late Chief Minister’s death.

While hearing a petition filed by an AIADMK member named Joseph, the sitting judge of the vacation bench, Justice Vaidyanathan observed, “I have personal suspicions about Jayalalithaa’s death.” Referring to news reports during Jayalalithaa’s 75-day hospitalisation, the judge asked, “There were reports of her eating, talking, attending meetings and signing documents. Then how did she die all of a sudden.”

The judge also went on to say that the court could order the exhumation and post-mortem of Jayalalithaa’s body.  “Even after death, you have not given medical records, why can’t we order exhumation of the body?” Justice Vaidyanathan observed. 

Jayalalithaa was declared dead on December 5 after suffering a cardiac arrest a day earlier. She had been hospitalised at Apollo Hospital on September 22 with breathing difficulties and dehydration. Medical bulletins issued by the hospital initially stated that the Chief Minister was stable, under treatment and required rest. Meanwhile, an intensivist from the UK, Dr Richard Beale was flown in to oversee Jayalalithaa’s treatment along with a team of doctors from Apollo Hospital. Doctors from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences were also flown into help with Jayalalithaa’s course of treatment.  However, Jayalalithaa suffered a cardiac arrest on December 4 and was pronounced dead at 11:30pm the following day.

Following a funeral on December 6 attended by several leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jayalalithaa was laid to rest at the MGR memorial on Marina Beach in Chennai. The late CM was given a burial, instead of a cremation, just as her predecessors MGR and Annadurai were.

On December 18, expelled AIADMK MP Sasikala Pushpa had moved the Supreme Court seeking a judicial probe into Jayalalithaa’s death, calling it “suspicious”. In her petition, Pushpa had said that Jayalalithaa’s medical condition was not disclosed, no one was allowed to visit her and her hospitalisation was “kept under wraps.” A similar plea was filed in the apex court by the Tamil Nadu Telugu Yuva Sakthi claiming that doubts have been raised over the circumstances of the AIADMK leader’s death and her medical reports needed to be examined by experts.

Source: The News Minute