‘Doctors advised against shifting Jayalalithaa abroad’
Venkataramanan, former Secretary of the ex-Chief Minister, quizzed by panel
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.