Jayalalithaa’s death | Unfathomable why panel did not depend on medical board’s guidance: Advocate Aryama Sundaram

The senior advocate also took exception to the Commission’s charge that Apollo Hospitals chairman Prathap C. Reddy had called a press conference and announced that Jayalalithaa would go home soon

October 20, 2022 01:17 am | Updated 11:49 am IST - CHENNAI

Senior advocate C. Aryama Sundaram, who appeared for Apollo Hospitals in the Supreme Court against the Arumughaswamy Commission of Inquiry. File photo

Senior advocate C. Aryama Sundaram, who appeared for Apollo Hospitals in the Supreme Court against the Arumughaswamy Commission of Inquiry. File photo | Photo Credit: B. Jothi Ramalingam

Senior advocate C. Aryama Sundaram, who appeared for Apollo Hospitals in the Supreme Court against the Arumughaswamy Commission of Inquiry, said it was unfathomable that the Commission would go against the report of the AIIMS medical board constituted to advise it on medical matters. The Commission’s report was tabled in the Assembly on Tuesday.

Apollo had moved the top court accusing the Commission of “bias, violation of the principles of natural justice and conducting the fact-finding exercise outside its jurisdiction”.

The Supreme Court recognised that the Commission did not have competence to decide medical matters and directed that there be a qualified medical board to provide a report to the Commission. In November last year, it asked AIIMS to constitute a board that the Commission could lean on for technical details.

This expert board has already said it agreed with the course of treatment and the final diagnosis made by the hospital. “When there is a panel of doctors to advise on a patient, there will be multiple opinions, that is the point. The hospital and the doctors treating her went with what one of these consultants advised,” Mr. Sundaram told The Hindu.

Also Read | The full report of Justice Arumughaswamy Commission in English

“It is un-understandable that the mission will go against the medical board’s report. For him to say anything else is unfathomable, given he was not competent to decide on medical matters. How is a lawyer more competent than an expert in medical affairs,” he asked.

The senior advocate also took exception to the Commission’s charge that Apollo Hospitals chairman Prathap C. Reddy had called a press conference and announced that Jayalalithaa would go home soon.

Calling it a “fundamental error in facts”, Mr. Sundaram explained, “The press meet was not called by Dr. Reddy. The other doctors were briefing the media and he was present there. When asked a question, he expressed his hope that Jayalalithaa would be able to be discharged soon.”

He also mentioned that the Commission raising questions about the time of death, based on the version of a nephew who was not even there, left a lot to be desired.

Mr. Sundaram hoped that the Tamil Nadu government would see the wisdom that anything contrary to the medical board has said and set it aside.

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