Jayalalithaa said no to weight loss surgery: Diabetologist

Chennai: J Jayalalithaa was against weight loss surgery to improve her health, a diabetologist said during her deposition before a one-man panel probing the former Tamil Nadu chief minister’s death.

Diabetologist Dr Jayashree Gopal

During cross-examination, Dr Jayashree Gopal, the diabetologist with a leading hospital, deposed that Jayalalithaa had said “no” to surgery and opted to reduce weight through diet.

N Raja Senthoor Pandian, the counsel of Jayalalithaa’s aide V K Sasikala who cross-examined the doctor, said the advice was rendered to improve the health.

“The doctor had advised Jayalalithaa that a weight loss surgery would make walking easy and help ward off disorders like thyroid.

“However, Jayalalithaa had said she would try weight reduction through diet,” the lawyer said, quoting the doctor’s deposition.

Jayalalithaa had also expressed her inability to go in for physical exercises in view of her public engagements, the counsel said.

Sweets taken by Jayalalithaa during her hospitalisation in 2016 was within limit and in accordance with her dietary plan and it was for celebrating the AIADMK’s victory in the bypolls that year, Pandian told reporters.

Besides Dr Jayashree, Dr D Shantaram and an official of a public sector bank were cross-examined yesterday.

The deposition of Dr D Shantaram showed that Sasikala had taken due care of Jayalalithaa’s health, the lawyer said.

Dr Shantaram of Apollo Hospital, who had treated Jayalalithaa since 2000 for diabetes, had deposed that the late leader’s health began deteriorating since March 2015.

Even during her incarceration in 2014 at a Bengaluru jail, Jayalalithaa’s blood sugar levels were at the “correct level,” according to Dr Shantaram’s deposition.

Dr Jayashree said a video of Jayalalithaa in Apollo Hospital, (which was leaked to the media) was actually shot in that hospital.

“A regrettable thing for us is that the Commission’s advocates wanted Jayalalithaa madam’s personal bank account to be marked as exhibit and it has been done,” he said.

Pandian said “in my view, there is some violation of law (vis-a-vis Jayalalithaa’s bank account’s scrutiny by the Commission). The bank official was cross-examined and if necessary I will share information about it,” he said, without elaborating.

Jayalalithaa and Sasikala had repaid to the PSU bank loans secured for gifting cars for each other’s birthday, he said, citing the bank official’s deposition.

The Justice A Arumughaswamy Commission of Inquiry was constituted by the Tamil Nadu government last year following suspicions raised by several quarters on her death.

The panel’s terms of reference was to inquire into the circumstances and situation leading to the hospitalisation of Jayalalithaa on September 22, 2016, and treatment provided till her death on December 5 the same year.

The Commission had invited all those having “personal knowledge and direct acquaintance” in the matter to furnish information to it.