CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu state politics has heated up on Thursday after a vacation bench of the Madras High Court echoed opinions of the public over the death of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Ms.Jayalalithaa. The Court questioned the government on why can’t it order the exhumation of the body of former Chief Minister to clear the doubts of the public. The Madras High court has issued a notice to the State and Central governments to respond over the same within ten days.
The former Chief minister was declared dead on December 5, 2016, after 75 days of hospitalization and was buried at the MGR Memorial at the Marina beach on December 6, 2016.
Hearing a petition filed by AIADMK party worker PA Joseph, the vacation bench comprising of Justice Vaidyanathan and Justice Parthiban said, “Even we have similar doubts on the secrecy maintained in the death of Ms.Jayalalithaa. Like every resident of Tamil Nadu we were reading in the newspapers that she was recovering well, signing papers and even conducting meetings. And all of sudden we were told that she was dead”.
“At least the government could have made her medical reports public after her death. It is the right of the public to know about their leader and the former Chief Minister”, the court commented, citing that no Revenue division officer (RDO) has seen her body while adding that secrecy was maintained at all levels.
The bench also recalled a similar situation in the late 1980’s when the then Chief Minister MG Ramachandran was hospitalized of ill health. The late MGR was treated both in Chennai and the United States. In the middle, to answer the people’s questions the government has also released a video showing MGR being treated inside the hospital. “However, such measures have not been taken by the current government”, the court observed.
The Advocate general of Tamil Nadu, R MuthuKumaraswamy said that similar petitions were before the first bench of the high court and the Supreme Court adding that they are scheduled for hearing on January 4 and December 30 respectively.
The petitioner wants the Madras High Court to constitute a committee to look into the medical reports of the former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. The next hearing of the case will be on January 9.