CHENNAI: A counsel for a Commission of Inquiry probing the death of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa has alleged in a petition that Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan colluded and conspired with Apollo Hospital and “inappropriate treatment” was provided to her. They also alleged that the then chief secretary P Rama Mohana Rao, at the time of Jayalalithaa's hospitalisation in 2016, had “purposely given false evidence”.
The allegations have been refuted by both, the health secretary and the hospital, while the former chief secretary said he was not aware of the petition. The standing counsel for the Justice A Arumughaswamy commission, Mohammed Jafarullah Khan, in a petition before the panel has sought to implead Radhakrishnan and Rao as respondents. The counsel's petition alleges that the health secretary made contradictory statements before the panel and the official was also against taking Jayalalithaa abroad for treatment.
The petition claimed, “While so it is apparent that the evidence of the health secretary is not only contradictory, but also suggestive of conspiracy and collusion between the health secretary and Apollo Hospital with regard to the inappropriate treatment of the late chief minister. At times, he speaks like the spokesman of the Apollo Hospital, which speaks volume to the collusion and inaction in the matter of treatment of late chief minister.”
Radhakrishnan dismissed the allegations levelled against him as “unfounded, baseless and wild”. He said that he had not been served a copy of the petition filed by the commission's counsel. The allegation that he “conspired and colluded” with Apollo Hospital and acted like its spokesperson was “not only false, but also slanderous”. The top official said, “These allegations have caused tremendous stress and mental agony to me... in reality I have only discharged my duties to the best of my ability.”
He also added, “Whether to take or not to a foreign destination for treatment was purely a medical decision for which it would not be correct to hold an official like him responsible.” He said at no point was any procedure or treatment that was “unavailable” in India sought for her. Radhakrishnan said he would answer queries on January 4, during his scheduled deposition and clear the air vis-a-vis the allegations. Regarding Rao, the panel's counsel said the former chief secretary had “purposely given false evidence”.