‘Doc­tors ad­vised against shift­ing Jay­alalithaa abroad’

Venkatara­manan, for­mer Sec­re­tary of the ex-Chief Min­is­ter, quizzed by panel

The Hindu - - TAMIL NADU - Deepu Se­bas­tian Ed­mond

K.N. Venkatara­manan, re­tired IAS of­fi­cer who was once Sec­re­tary to Jay­alalithaa, on Mon­day told the Com­mis­sion of In­quiry look­ing into her death that AIIMS doc­tors and Dr. Richard Beale had ad­vised against tak­ing the for­mer Chief Min­is­ter abroad for treat­ment.

Mr. Venkatara­manan made the state­ment while be­ing cross-ex­am­ined be­fore Jus­tice (Retd.) A. Aru­mughaswamy by V.K. Sasikala's lawyer N. Raja Senthoor Pan­dian. Dur­ing a four-hour pe­riod, Ms. Sasikala's lawyer ex­am­ined five wit­nesses: apart from Mr. Venkatara­manan, Ms. Sasikala's rel­a­tives Vivek Ja­yara­man, and J. Kr­ish­napriya; Sudha Se­shayyan who led the team that em­balmed Jay­alalithaa's body; cook Ra­jam­mal and car­di­ol­o­gist Swami­nathan were ex­am­ined.

Mr. Pan­dian told The Hindu that Mr. Venkatara­manan did not spec­ify the date on which the pro­posal to shift Jay­alalithaa abroad was shot down.

Dur­ing his De­cem­ber 21, 2017 tes­ti­mony, for­mer Chief Sec­re­tary P. Rama Mo­hana Rao had told the Com­mis­sion that, on a sug­ges­tion from M. Thambi Du­rai, he had ex­plored the pos­si­bil­ity of tak­ing Jay­alalithaa abroad but had dropped the idea on re­al­is­ing that min­is­ters were not re­cep­tive to it.

Asked to go pub­lic

Mr. Venkatara­manan — who did not brief jour­nal­ists — said that the for­mer Chief Min­is­ter had in­structed him to in­form the pub­lic about her health dur­ing Septem­ber 22 and 27, 2016.

This was to help stop the ru­mours about her ill-health.

K.N. Venkatara­manan

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