Apollo Hospitals on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to overturn the investigation process before the Commission of Judge (Retired) A. Arumughaswamy into the death of the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa.
Submitted to a chamber of Judges Abdul S. Nazeer and Krishna Murari, lead attorney Aryama Sundaram, assisted by attorney Rohini Musa, said the proceedings reeked of bias and violation of the principles of natural justice.
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“Where there is a reasonable apprehension of bias, there is no question of Your Lordships saying ‘we will tell him to behave in the future” … I request that the proceedings be set aside, “Mr. Sundaram on behalf of Chennai. hospital.
Senior counsel said the right to protect one’s reputation from prejudice allows an investigation to be challenged even before the Commission submits its report. The absence of bias is one of the principles of natural justice.
“A fair hearing is by someone who has no interest in the lis (lawsuit),” he submitted.
“We have seen the Commission file a petition before itself, file a reply and hear the petition … Isn’t that being the judge of your own case? Mr. Sundaram asked.
Also read: Supreme Court quashes commission of inquiry into Jayalalithaa’s death
“What are you trying to say is that he has been identified with the cause?” Asked Judge Nazeer.
“Yes … He went far beyond being a judge of his own cause …” replied Mr. Sundaram.
At a previous hearing, the court had questioned whether the Commission had “virtually become a judge of its own cause” or a “referee playing the game himself”.
Mr Sundaram had said that the reputation of the first hospital in Chennai, where Ms Jayalalithaa breathed her last in 2016, had been “tarnished overnight” by the CoI which took a tangent which was “incredible”. Lead counsel said the Commission’s path came straight out of a fairy tale Alice in Wonderland.
Mr Sundaram argued that the CoI even went to request the medical records regarding the hospitalization of another former chief minister of Tamil Nadu, MG Ramachandran, 37 years ago and his transfer to Brooklyn hospital in the United States. United States.
The proceedings before the CoI were suspended by the Supreme Court in April 2019 on the basis of a plea by Apollo Hospitals that the operation of the commission of inquiry was “full of bias”.
Apollo Hospitals argued that the Commission, instead of conducting an impartial investigation, filed a plea alleging “criminal intent” on the part of the hospital and its doctors.
At a previous hearing, the CoI, represented by lead lawyer Ranjit Kumar, informed the court that he only had four witnesses left to interview and that he should be allowed to complete his work and submit his investigative report to the state legislature. .
The state appointed the commission of inquiry headed by Judge Arumughaswamy, a retired Madras High Court judge, on September 25, 2017. The commission’s benchmark was to examine the circumstances that led to the Jayalalithaa’s hospitalization on September 22, 2016 and the nature of the treatment. to determine the cause of hospitalization.