Sasikala petitions panel to summon Kalanithi Maran

V.K. Sasikala has moved an application before the Commission of Inquiry looking into former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa's death, asking it to summon Sun TV Network Chairman Kalanithi Maran.

Sasikala’s lawyer before the Justice (Retd.) A. Arumughaswamy Commission of Inquiry wants Mr. Maran to be summoned over the two episodes of a programme on Jayalalithaa's death, broadcast by Sun News on November 10-11.

In his application, likely to be heard on Wednesday, lawyer N. Raja Pandian wants Mr. Maran to submit the documentary evidence on Jayalalithaa’s health used to produce the programme. “I did not file the petition to stop the broadcast of the programme....Let the Commission obtain the documents and if they are of use to it, add them as evidence,” he said.

Six episodes

The programme, titled ‘Amma Maranathil Marmam Alasal’, is reportedly spread over a total of six episodes. The remaining episodes are scheduled to be broadcast over the coming weekends.

Tuesday's was the second application moved by Sasikala against news reports published on Jayalalithaa’s death. The Commission is currently considering an application filed by Mr. Pandian, seeking to summon the publisher of the daily evening newspaper Tamil Murasu . Sasikala was aggrieved by a report published by the newspaper on the inspection of Apollo Hospital's facilities by a team designated by the Commission. Tamil Murasu too is owned by the Sun TV Network.

Mr. Pandian said that on Tuesday, R. Narasimhan, a respiratory medicine specialist who treated Jayalalithaa, told the Commission that he had asked K.S. Sivakumar, the doctor who was coordinating the CM's treatment, to create an audio recording of Jayalalithaa's breathing difficulties. Dr. Narasimhan told the Commission that he had not listened to the recording — submitted in evidence before the Commission — as Jayalalithaa had to be treated for her breathing issues regardless.

On Tuesday, a senior consultant of critical care medicine at Apollo Hospitals was also asked about AIADMK leader and State forest minister Dindigul C. Sreenivasan’s reported comments alleging that Jayalalithaa had been given “slow poison.” Lawyer Pandian said Dr. Ramesh Venkataraman had said that there was no indication that Jayalalithaa had been given slow poison. The Commission summoned Alok Kumar, manager of the Central Bank of India's Kotagiri branch, where Jayalalithaa held an account. A source said that the Commission could not find any anomalies after Mr. Kumar produced a copy of the account statement.