Apollo Hospitals on Wednesday filed an application seeking to defer the appearance of its doctors summoned by the Commission. Counsel for V.K. Sasikala, Raja Senthoor Pandian, had wanted to cross-examine a few doctors who had given treatment to late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.
“The ground agitated by the counsel for the applicant is that writ petitions filed by the applicant hospital are pending before the High Court. It has been stated that it is not fair for the Commission to conduct cross-examination on February 27. It was further contended that the writ petitions have not since been disposed and there is no specific order permitting the Commission to proceed with the matter,” Justice (retd.) A. Arumughaswamy observed in an order.
He further noted that Apollo had said the doctors were all consultants of the hospital, and they had been examined by the Commission as “Commission witnesses”. “The doctors have filed an affidavit before the High Court. Therefore, the applicant has no say about the doctors not responding to the summons. Hence, the counsel for Apollo Hospitals prayed that the examination of doctors had to be deferred,” he said.
Justice Arumughaswamy said Apollo, for the first time, had stated that the doctors were Commission witnesses and hence they were not responsible for their non-appearance. “But the said fact has not been stated in the application. It is only argued before the Commission by the counsel for the applicant. That being so, the Commission has no difficulty to secure the witnesses immediately by following the procedure known to law,” he said.
He also observed that the summoned doctors were local witnesses, entitled for payment of ‘witness batta’ only and they could not refuse to attend the Commission. Since the writ petitions were pending in the High Court, the Commission was not expressing its view.
Meanwhile, counsel for Sasikala sought an adjournment of the hearing of Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, scheduled for Thursday, as he was to appear in the Delhi High Court with regard to the verdict in the two-leaves symbol case.