VK Sasikala, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's close aide and former leader of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) said that she was not involved in the medical treatment related matters of the deceased CM. She was refuting the findings of a Justice A Arumughaswamy Commission which has indicted her in the death of the former CM.
"I deny all the allegations levelled against me in the report. I never interfered in the medical treatment of J Jayalalithaa. I am ready to face an inquiry in this regard."VK Sasikala, Expelled AIADMK Leader
Arumughaswamy Commission, which looked into the death of Jayalalithaa amid a barrage of conspiracy theories in 2016, recommended that the state government investigate her close confidants VK Sasikala and three others – KS Shivakumar, Sasikala's nephew, C Vijayabaskar, former Tamil Nadu health minister, and Dr Radhakrishnan, former health secretary.
Justice A Arumughaswamy Commission has observed that the four people were responsible for lapses, that led to Jayalalithaa's death.
"I have never interfered with the medical treatment given to Jayalalithaa during her hospitalisation. Being accused is nothing new to me," Sasikala said, in a press note.
Didn't Interfere With Medical Treatment: Sasikala
The commission report had noted discrepancies in the versions narrated by Sasikala and the doctors who treated her.
"Even though Dr Richard Beale (UK physician) said he is prepared to take late CM abroad for treatment, why it did not materialise?" read the report.
"Dr Samin Sharma convinced late CM for taking angiopasty and she also agreed for the same but why it had not taken place," the report asked.
Sasikala claimed, "I do not have adequate medical knowledge to take such decisions. The decisions regarding the treatment and medicines were taken by the doctors. All that I cared for was that Amma got first-class treatment."
The commission has also held Dr Pratap C Reddy, chairman of the hospital accountable for sharing misleading false information about the leader’s health condition.
“Though he is the person bound and authorised to state true facts, with his full knowledge that it was not true, issued a press meet with a false statement that the late CM can be discharged at any time. Secondly. he has issued briefings in his room often without disclosing the real fact regarding the heart ailments and treatment to be given,” the report read.
Responding to the allegations, Sasikala said in the note, "Apollo Hospital is not incompetent to seek my medical advice. We were already seeking treatment for Amma for different ailments and that is why we preferred to take her there. I never objected to her being taken abroad for treatment. It was decided by doctors from AIIMS that there was no need for angioplasty."
Jayalalithaa’s Death Is Being Politicised: Sasikala
Sasikala slammed the retired judge who advised the state government to investigate Jayalalithaa's death, stating he was overstepping his brief from the Supreme Court. The top court had contended that the former judge was biased and unequipped to handle medical issues, she said. They had appointed a medical board, consisting of doctors from the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), which concluded that the treatment provided was “as per correct medical practice."
The commission refused to accept the report submitted by the AIIMS medical board.
"People will not accept Jayalalithaa's death being politicised. There are no doubts regarding her treatment at the hospital. She was expected to return home with us, but she unfortunately left this world."VK Sasikala
Sasikala and Jayalalithaa’s Association Was Strained Since 2012?
The commission also analysed Sasikala's association with Jayalalithaa in the report. It stated that Jayalalithaa's relationship with Sasikala was strained.
Sasikala refuted this claim stating, "We lived together for thirty years as sisters and friends. On what basis can (Justice) Arumughaswamy state that we were not in good terms since 2012? This is a blatant lie being told by the commission. I leave it to the people to judge the political intentions with which this was done."
However, the report has also concluded that there was nothing “abnormal or unnatural in the conduct of the people including Sasikala in the house in taking adequate care to shift late CM to the Apollo Hospitals promptly without delay.”