By Justice K. Chandru
Today, the Apollo Hospital on Greams Road (where once Cochin Palace was situated) has assumed great importance. Thousands of AIADMK party cadre assemble every day in front of its gate and offer prayers for the speedy recovery of their “Amma” who is the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu – J. Jayalalitha. Besides these people, there are also daily visits by political bigwigs starting from Rahul Gandhi to various political leaders. The latest being Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Governor Sathasivam who have scheduled to make an air dash from Calicut. The fact of the matter is that whomsoever they may be, none of them had an occasion to meet the ailing Chief Minister. Their visits stop at the reception room of the hospital. Each one later tells the permanently berthed newsmen at the gate that they spoke to the doctors and that she is recovering. The hospital issues periodic health reports that most of the time contradicts the previous state of health.
A public interest litigation filed before the Madras High Court seeking to know the real health of the Chief Minister was thrown out with an observation that it was a publicity interest litigation. The Opposition leader has demanded the appointment of an acting Chief Minister since the Chief Minister’s internment in the hospital was more than three weeks. There is one maverick politician who has already demanded the imposition of President’s rule. Before one looks into the Constitutional position, it is also important to know whether the citizens have a right to know the real state of health of their Chief Minister.