TN govt extends term for Justice Arumughaswamy committee probing Jayalalithaa's death

The Justice Arumughaswamy Commission, which has been probing the death of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, on Wednesday got an extension for its term from Tamil Nadu government. 

TN govt extends term for Justice Arumughaswamy committee probing Jayalalithaa's death
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The Justice Arumughaswamy Commission, which has been probing the death of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, on Wednesday got an extension for its term from Tamil Nadu government. 

The extension granted by AIADMK-led government is for four months. 

This is not the first time that the commission's tenure has been extended. It was earlier extented twice in December 2017 and June 2017. 

In September 2017, the Tamil Nadu government constituted the panel under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952.

The panel's terms of reference was to inquire into the circumstances leading to the hospitalisation of Jayalalithaa on September 22, 2016, and treatment provided by the hospital till her demise on December 5, 2016.

The Commission had invited all those having "personal knowledge and direct acquaintance" in the matter to furnish information to it.

Following Jayalalithaa's death, suspicion on the circumstances leading to her demise was raised by several people, including the present Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and his followers.

Then a rebel party leader, Panneerselvam and his followers had demanded a probe into her death, either a judicial inquiry or a CBI probe.

After unification of the factions led by Chief Minister K Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam, the government notified constituting the panel.

The probe was a key precondition put forth by the Panneerselvam panel for the merger.

DMK Working President MK Stalin had batted for a CBI probe as well. 

As of August,  the commission's 75 witnesses and seven others who had voluntarily petitioned the panel were examined.

It may be recalled that the examined witnesses include over a dozen doctors (government and Apollo Hospital), retired and serving government officials and police officers.

Earlier in August this year, the commission had summoned three doctors from Delhi's AIIMS hospital.

The commissioned has summoned GC Khilnani of the Department of Pulmonology, Anjan Trikha, Professor of Anesthesiology, and Nitish Nayak, a professor at the Department of Cardiology.

The doctors had periodically examined Jayalalithaa when she was undergoing treatment at the Apollo Hospital between September 22 and December 5, 2016.

(With PTI Inputs)

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