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18 Oct 2021, Edition - 2288, Monday

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Coimbatore

Madras HC dismisses PIL seeking health details of Jayalalithaa

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However, in a different case, the State Election Commission failed to get stay on cancellation of local body polls, which is somewhat of a setback to the ruling party.

Chennai: Thursday offered mixed results for the Tamil Nadu government in the Madras High Court enabling it to breathe a bit easier on the health condition of chief minister J Jayalalithaa after a bench comprising chief justice SL Kaul and justice R Mahadevan dismissed a PIL seeking health status as “a publicity stunt”.

But on another important political issue, although technically it was the defeat of the State Election Commission, the high court refused to stay its earlier decision deferring the local body polls holding that the announcement was made in a hurried manner and called for fresh notification of local body polls.

The day began for the government on a relatively cheerful note after the High Court bench threw out a PIL by social activist Traffic Ramaswamy who argued that the public had a right to know the status of the chief minister’s health.

The judgment came as an anti-climax for the strong army of media personnel who were expecting the state government to come out with a detailed response and give details regarding the health of chief minister J Jayalalithaa, who is undergoing treatment at Apollo Hospital for the past over 10 days. She was admitted to the hospital late on the night of September 22 with complaints of fever and dehydration.

The media was expecting some details after the High Court on Tuesday observed that “though the hospital authorities have issued some statements, the government is duty bound to provide status of her health.”

The petitioner maintained that rumors were rife and details about the ailment of the chief minister were not available. This was further fuelling rumors, he said in his petition.

Other than bland medical bulletins that stated her as improving and being advised rest and under observation, the hospital authorities and the government have maintained secrecy over her health condition.

But in the other matter of local body polls, the state election commission’s appeal for a stay against the High Court decision cancelling local body polls was rejected.

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