The Chief Operating Officer of Apollo Hospital, Subbaiah Vishwanathan, has told the inquiry commission investigating the death of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa that the hospital CCTV cameras were working when she was admitted to the hospital.
However, the COO told the Arumughaswamy Commission, which is looking into the case, that the hospital had occasionally switched the cameras off, upon the request of a government official. The COO has been asked to furnish the official’s name and the written request that was allegedly made to the hospital within seven days.
According to a report in The Hindu, Subbaiah Vishwanathan told the lawyers of the Commission that the cameras were switched off when Jayalalithaa was being moved from one room to another or when she was being taken for check-ups.
The COO has also been asked to furnish CCTV footage from the hospital within a week. The COO has said that he is not sure whether the hospital has preserved the footage from December 2016.
On Thursday, the Arumughaswamy Commission had noted that some of the doctors who were summoned had not appeared in court, and warned Apollo Hospital of legal consequences if they failed to do so. The doctors and staff have been asked to appear before the panel in a phased manner between September 10 and 12.
In March earlier this year, the Chairman of the hospital group, Prathap Reddy, had told the media that all CCTV cameras in the section where Jayalalithaa was being treated at hospitals were switched off.
The only video footage of Jayalalithaa in Apollo Hospital which was allegedly shot during this period and is available in public is the one that an MLA from the TTV Dhinakaran camp had released before the RK Nagar bye-polls in December 2017. It was a video of Jayalalithaa seen on the bed inside the hospital.
Jayalalithaa was admitted to Chennai’s Apollo Hospital on September 22, 2016. She was admitted there and was reportedly responding well to her treatment till she suffered a cardiac arrest on December 4 and passed away the next day.