Politics

Madras HC Urges Tamil Nadu Government to Submit an Update on Jayalalithaa’s Health

A file photo of Tamil Nadu chief minister J.Jayalalithaa. Credit: PTI

A file photo of Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa. Credit: PTI

Nearly two weeks after the hospitalisation of Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa, the Madras high court on Tuesday ordered the state government to inform it about her condition before October 6, Hindustan Times reports.

The court observed that an official release with regard to the chief minister’s health condition – who has been undergoing treatment at a hospital since September 22 – would help reduce the anxiety of the people.

An oral observation was made by a division bench while hearing a PIL which was filed by social activist ‘Traffic’ Ramaswamy on Monday, PTI reports.

Ramaswamy had sought a detailed report from the government on the health condition of the chief minister and asked it to release photographs of the meeting she is said to have had with her cabinet colleagues and officials in the hospital where she is admitted

According to NDTV, he asked for a proper statement from the government and the appointment of an interim chief minister while Jayalalithaa was recovering.

He also submitted that the police had blocked the roads leading to the hospital where she was undergoing treatment by erecting barricades preventing others to go to the hospital for treatment.

The court has asked Tamil Nadu’s Additional Advocate General C. Manishankar to get back to it after consulting the government on the health condition of the chief minister by tomorrow. According to Hindustan Times, however, the high court said in its statement on Tuesday, “AIADMK (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) leader J. Jayalalithaa is holding public office, and therefore her state of health must be clarified by government officials before October 6.”

The development came 12 days after the 68-year-old was admitted to Apollo Hospital in Chennai after complaints of high fever and dehydration.

A lack of official information has contributed to a flurry of rumours of her demise. Her party has denied reports that she is critically ill and has also filed police complaints against four people for “spreading rumours” on social media, reports NDTV.

Manishankar told the court on Tuesday that the corporate hospital had been issuing medical bulletins daily on her health conditions and describing the treatments given to her.

According to the Indian Express, a bulletin released by the hospital on Monday said the health of the chief minister ‘continues to improve.’

“The treatment plan including appropriate antibiotics, respiratory support and other allied clinical measures are presently being continued to treat the infection,” said the bulletin. A specialist doctor from London was also flown in to monitor her condition.

According to PTI, the court, in response, said that even though the hospital was releasing bulletins, being the chief minister of the state, some official release with regard to her health condition would help reduce the anxiety of the people.

Previous calls for proof of the chief minister’s health have been rebuffed by her party. AIADMK spokesperson C.R. Saraswathi has said, “The chief minister is recovering very well. She wants to get completely alright and return home. That’s why the delay. She’s doing all work from the hospital. Governance is not affected.”

The bench said that it is not passing any order on the PIL but directed the additional advocate general to consult the government on the matter.

(With PTI inputs)