More than 10 days after the Madras high court asked for clarification over the death of J Jayalalithaa who died in harness as chief minister, the Tamil Nadu government said in a statement it will file its response in a sealed cover.
The HC had asked for a clarification in response to a PIL filed by PA Joseph, a member of the AIADMK.
The HC has postponed the case to February 23 in response to the state seeking time to gather the necessary information.
Apollo Hospital, where Jayalalithaa spent the last 75 days of her life, said it will pass on her medical records only to the deceased’s blood relatives, a point raised by the bench when they questioned the petitioner’s locus standi on the matter.
Joseph had replied that although he was not a blood relative, he was a member of the ruling party and a citizen of Tamil Nadu, and therefore entitled to know what exactly had happened to the former chief minister.
On December 29, a bench comprising Justice Vaidyanathan and Parthiban observed that “We have personal suspicions about Jayalalithaa’s death.”
Justice Vaidyananthan had also said “There were reports of her eating, talking, attending meetings, and signing documents. How did she die all of a sudden then? At least now after her death, the truth should be revealed,” in reference to the numerous press releases Apollo Hospital had provided as well as statements from party spokespeople during Jayalalithaa’s convalescence.
The bench 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?” the HC said. The bench went on to issue notices to the Prime Minister, state and central governments.
Jayalalithaa was declared dead on December 5 after suffering a cardiac arrest a day earlier. She had been hospitalised at Apollo Hospital in Chennai since September 22, and was initially admitted for high fever and dehydration.
Initial medical bulletins from the private hospital stated that the former actress was stable and under treatment.