It’s a publicity stunt: HC dismisses plea for update on Jayalalithaa’s health
The Madras high court on Thursday dismissed a petition seeking information on Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalithaa, saying that it was “meant for publicity”.
A bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kaul and justice R Mahadevan heard the petition, which was filed by activist KR “Traffic” Ramaswamy, who said the public “had a right to know the real status of the CM’s health.”
The PIL was filed on Monday, with the veteran social activist urging the court on Tuesday to treat it as a “matter of utmost importance.”
The HC on Tuesday observed that the people of Tamil Nadu were “anxious” about Jayalalithaa’s health, and had instructed the government pleader to respond to the PIL after consulting with the government.
They added that “though the hospital authorities have issued some statements, the government is duty bound to provide status of her health.”
With the dismissal of the petition on Thursday, the state government is no longer bound to inform the high court about the ailing chief minister’s health condition.
In his petition, Ramaswamy said that there were several rumours floating around about Jayalalithaa’s health after her hospitalisation on September 22 that had yet to be dispelled, and that despite the governor and senior ministers visiting her on separate occasions, there were no details on the nature of her illness and her treatment.
The 68-year-old CM was admitted to Apollo hospital for a high fever and dehydration, a period of time that has seen Tamil Nadu almost come to a standstill with rumours mills working overtime.
Despite press releases by the staff of the hospital, there is still little clarity of what exactly is ailing her, with cryptic references to “illness” and “respiratory support”.
On Friday, a British doctor was brought in to help consult and said that he was “satisfied with the line of treatment provided.” He has subsequently left the city.
A special team of three doctors from AIIMS has been flown down to further observe the ailing chief minister.