Tamil Nadu

Jaya probe panel summonsThambi Durai, Richard Beale

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Health Minister, Deputy Chief Minister asked to appear on Jan. 7 and 8, respectively

The Commission of Inquiry looking into the death of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has asked AIADMK leader and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M. Thambi Durai to appear before it on January 11.

The one-man Justice (Retd.) A. Arumughaswamy Commission has also asked Apollo Hospitals to ensure that London-based intensivist Dr. Richard Beale appeared before the panel on January 9.

Dr. Beale, who treated Jayalalithaa during her stay at Apollo Hospital on Greams Road between September 22 and December 5, 2016 , has been asked to appear via video-conferencing at 3 p.m. IST. The Commission reportedly intends to use the video-conferencing facility of the Southern Zone bench of the National Green Tribunal.

Apollo Hospitals has been told by the Commission that it is “absolutely required to coordinate the appearance” of Dr. Beale since he was engaged and paid by the hospital.

The Commission has issued fresh summons to Health Minister C. Vijaya Baskar and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam to appear before it on January 7 and 8 respectively. The Commission had issued summons to Mr. Panneerselvam to appear on December 20 and Mr. Baskar on December 18.

Sought postponement

A Commission source said Mr. Panneerselvam had been asked to postpone his appearance after Mr. Baskar asked for a postponement citing personal reasons. This, the source said, was because the Commission preferred to examine the Health Minister before the Deputy CM.

The Commission has asked former adviser to the government Sheela Balakrishnan and former officer on special duty at the Chief Minister’s office Santha Sheela Nair to appear on January 2, when it resumes sittings after a Christmas break.

Over 10 consultants of Apollo Hospitals will appear in the next few days, to be cross-examined by V.K. Sasikala’s lawyers. Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan and Jayalalithaa’s personal security officer Perumalsamy are among those issued summons. Sources close to the Commission, whose tenure ends on February 24, have repeatedly asserted that it does not intend to seek an extension.

Recently, the judge discussed with the lawyers representing the Commission, Sasikala and Apollo Hospitals about his intention at attempt wrapping up the proceedings of the Commission so that he can submit his report by February 24.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 10:08:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/jaya-probe-panel-summonsthambi-durai-richard-beale/article25854565.ece

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