Chennai: Nearly 18 months after the death of J Jayalalithaa, an echocardiogram technician’s deposition before an inquiry commission has contradicted Apollo Hospital’s position, indicating that the then chief minister may have taken ill much before she was said to have suffered a cardiac arrest.
As per the official records, Jayalalithaa was admitted to the hospital on September 22 and suffered a cardiac arrest at 4:20pm on December 4, 2016 and passed away the next day.
However, in her deposition before the Justice A Arumughasamy Commission of Inquiry, echocardiogram operator Nalini said Jayalalithaa was administered an ECG test at 3:50pm on December 4, 2016.
Nalini’s statement is in sync with that of diabetologist Jayashree Gopal, who said she was summoned to the Greams Road hospital in a phone call at 4pm on December 4, hinting that Jayalalithaa’s health worsened much before it was stated earlier.
"The details provided by Nalini are significant because they indicate emergency activity much ahead of the timeline provided by the Apollo records," a source in the know of the inquiry commission's proceedings told CNN-News 18.
The statement is also in conflict with the version of events provided by Jayalalithaa confidante VK Sasikala, who is currently serving time in a Bengaluru jail in a disproportionate assets case. Sasikala had said that Jayalalithaa was watching TV before she suffered the cardiac arrest.
The state government had on September 25 last year constituted the probe panel under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952, naming retired Madras High Court Judge A Arumughaswamy as its head.
The panel was set up in the backdrop of suspicions raised by several people, including former rebel AIADMK leader and now deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam and his followers, regarding the circumstances leading to Jayalalithaa's death.
The panel's terms of reference are to inquire into the circumstances and situation leading to the hospitalisation of Jayalalithaa and treatment provided till her demise.