September 27, 2017
The Madras High Court on Wednesday ordered the Principal Secretary of Election Commission of India to appear before it on October 6 in connection with affixing the thumb impression of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on poll documents while she was in the hospital last year.
The senior Election Commission official would submit the documents pertaining to the permission given to affix the thumb impression of Jayalalithaa and how it is in line with the provisions of the Representation of Peoples Act and also the election conduct rules.
DMK candidate P. Saravanan has approached the court to cancel the election of A.K. Bose of AIADMK from the Thirupparankundram Assembly constituency in the by-election held last year raising doubts on affixing of thumb impression by Jayalalithaa in his poll papers.
The former Chief Minister who was in Apollo Hospitals during October 2016, had an inflamed right hand as she had undergone tracheostomy. She had to affix her left thumb impression in the poll documents submitted by an AIADMK candidates. As per the Representation of People Act, a candidate contesting on behalf of a political party has to submit Form B, where their party’s leader has to authorise the candidate to contest under the party’s election symbol.
Elections for Aravakurichi, Thanjavur and Thiruparankundram constituencies were slated for November 19 and the ruling AIADMK candidates filed their papers. The candidates submitted their papers on October 28 to the Returning Officers.
The thumb impression was attested by Dr. P. Balaji, Professor of Minimal Access Surgery, Madras Medical College. In his comments, Dr. Balaji said: “Since the signatory has undergone tracheostomy recently and has an inflamed right hand, she is temporarily unable to affix her signature. Hence she has affixed her left thumb impression on her own in my presence.”
Dr. Babu K Abraham of Apollo Hospitals signed as a witness.