The people of Tamil Nadu have the right to know the status of their Chief Minister’s health, observed the Madras High Court on an urgent mention made by activist ‘Traffic’ Ramaswamy.
The court was hearing a PIL by Mr. Ramaswamy, seeking to declare the “real” status of Chief Minsiter Jayalalithaa with material proofs before the court.
A Division Bench of Justices M.M. Sundresh and R. Mahadevan said, “though the hospital authorities have issued some statements, the government is duty bound to provide the status of her health.” It then directed the Additional Advocate General to get instructions from the authorities concerned.
The PIL would be taken up for hearing on Thursday, the bench said.
Mr. Ramaswamy, an octogenarian, wanted the court to direct the Principal Secretary to the Governor to consider appointing an interim Chief Minister in accordance with law. He submitted that rumours about the Chief Minister’s health were doing the rounds ever since she was was admitted in the hospital. They impacted life in the State, and in some areas in Chennai, even shops were closed.
Though the Governor and the Union Minister of State, Pon. Radhakrishnan, separately visited the hospital, they did not give exact details of Ms. Jayalalithaa’s health and the treatment accorded to her, the petitioner alleged.
He noted that despite repeated requests from various political leaders, including the principal Opposition party, to release her photograph and clarify her health position, no information has been provided so far to the public.
Mr. Ramaswamy claimed that he moved the PIL only because scores of general public were approaching him to do something on the issue. He wanted the court to direct the Principal Secretary to the Governor; the Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department; and the Chairman of Appolo Hospitals, to furnish details about the Chief Minister’s health with substantial material proofs before the court.