The Madras High Court has dismissed a PIL seeking to restrain the Tamil Nadu government from observing former chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s death anniversary today. The first bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice R Hemalatha dismissed the petition by one R Kumaravel seeking to restrain the state government from observing December 5 as the death anniversary of Jayalalithaa. The bench said, “This court cannot decide disputes as to whether letters said to have been written by the late chief minister were actually written by her or not.. This court neither has the expertise nor the experience to determine the death on the basis of a thumb impression, which might have been obtained.” “There is no public interest in the order sought for in the petition,” it said. Referring to the commission of inquiry set up by the government to look into the circumstances leading to the demise of Jayalalithaa, the bench said, “the commission would obviously inquire into the cause and the date of death.” The petitioner had submitted that he has no objection to the Chief Minister K Palaniswami or his party (AIADMK) observing the death anniversary on a party basis. He further submitted that on November 22 he had filed an affidavit before the Commission of Inquiry to call for records of original thumb impressions that were affixed on the nomination papers of the AIADMK candidate AK Bose for Tiruparankundram bypoll in November, 2016. Those impressions first be sent to the forensic sciences department for finding the basic truth whether she was alive or dead on October 27 last year, he said.
The government should defer from observing the death anniversary either till the Commission declared the date of death or results were obtained from forensic tests on her finger prints, he added. The state government had on September 25 announced setting up of the inquiry commission, headed by the retired high court judge, to probe the circumstances leading to the hospitalisation and death of Jayalalithaa on December 5 last year after 75 days of treatment at Apollo Hospitals here.