The Madras High Court on Wednesday ordered the Principal Secretary of the Election Commission of India to depose before it on October 6 in connection with affixing of the thumb impression on poll documents by late Chief Minister and AIADMK General Secretary J. Jayalalithaa while she was in hospital last year.
The senior Election Commission official would submit the documents relating to the permission given for the thumb impression of Jayalalithaa and how it is in line with the provisions of the Representation of Peoples Act and also the election conduct rules.
DMK’s candidate P. Saravanan had approached the court to cancel the election of AIADMK’s A.K. Bose from the Thirupparankundram Assembly constituency in the by-election held last year raising doubts on affixing of the thumb impression by Jayalalithaa in his poll documents.
Jayalalithaa who was in Apollo Hospitals during October 2016 had an inflamed right hand as she had undergone tracheostomy.
She had to affix her left thumb impression in the poll documents submitted by an AIADMK candidate.
As per the Representation of People Act, a candidate contesting on behalf of a political party has to submit Form B, where their party’s leader has to authorise the candidate to contest under the party’s election symbol.
The by-polls in Aravakurichi, Thanjavur and Thiruparankundram assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu were slated for November 19 and the ruling AIADMK candidates had filed their papers.
The three AIADMK candidates submitted their papers on October 28 to the Returning Officers.
The thumb impression of Jayalalithaa was attested by a government doctor – P.Balaji, Professor of Minimal Access Surgery, Madras Medical College.
In his comments, Balaji said: “Since the signatory has undergone tracheostomy recently and has an inflamed right hand, she is temporarily unable to affix her signature. Hence she has affixed her left thumb impression on her own in my presence.”
Dr Babu K. Abraham, working in Apollo Hospitals, signed as a witness.
Tracheostomy is a medical procedure whereby a direct airway is created by an incision in the windpipe enabling a person to breathe directly without the use of nose or mouth.
Jayalalithaa was admitted to the hospital with fever and dehydration on September 22 and died after over 70 days in December.