Apollo Hospitals has clarified that the order to turn off the CCTV cameras when Jayalalithaa was moved between wards and within the hospital came from her security detail that included IG of the intelligence wing KN Sathyamurthy, R Veeraperumal, S Perumalsamy and Sudhaker.
The cameras were turned off whenever the leader was taken for any diagnostic testing and turned on after she returned to the room. The security arrangements were planned a day in advance and the hospital was requested to place screens in the corridors and shut down all lifts but the one used by Jayalalithaa.
Notably, during his deposition IG Sathyamurthy had informed the Commission that he was unaware on whose orders the CCTV cameras had been turned off.
Apollo Hospitals added that there were no CCTV cameras in the treatment rooms such as ICU and CCU and were only placed in corridors and entrances.
The hospital also submitted that the footage from the night Jayalalithaa was admitted to the hospital has been lost as it was taped over.
With regard to the health bulletins bearing the signature of Apollo Hospitals COO Subbiah Viswananathan, the hospital said that the government was briefed every day on the health status of the then chief minister but the contents of the press release was decided by the officials.
Apollo Hospitals stated that the initial press release after Jayalalithaa’s hospitalisation was put out based on her instructions to reassure the public that she was ‘hale and hearty.’ Subsequent health updates were sent to the then chief secretary Rama Mohana Rao and Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan who drafted and finalised its contents before being signed off by the COO and resealed to the press. The hospital said that it complied with the instructions from the government as the aim that was stated was to maintain law and order and to not create unrest among the public and to manage public sentiments.
Jayalalithaa spent 75 days at the hospital following her admission on September 22, 2016. She passed away on December 5, 2016. The Commission has examined over 100 witnesses. With its term set to end on October 24, the Commission has sought an extension of three months.