Chennai, Oct 1: There is a lot of confusion and speculation regarding Tamil Nadu chief minister, J Jayalalithaa who is admitted in hospital for a little over a week now. While former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi had sought clarity on her health to put an end to speculation, an advocate also petitioned the President of India regarding the same.
In a three paged letter, Rehan S Bell who practises in the Supreme Court sought for a report on the Tamil Nadu chief minister's health. He has also sought for the President to seek a report from the Governor on the prevailing situation.
While seeking that Article 356 of the Indian Constitution be invoked in Tamil Nadu, the advocate sought the President's intervention in the matter. The advocate also wants Jayalalithaa to be examined by an independent doctor or a panel of doctors from the AIIMS.
He says that the President should call for a report from the Governor on the prevailing sitiuation regarding health of the Chief Minister and also her ability or otherwise to discharge her constitutional obligations.
Under Article 356, the President can dismiss a State Government or dissolve a State Assembly or keep it under suspended animation in the event of a failure of the constitutional machinery in that state.
In such cases although the President has the right to act and seek a report, he would first have to hear from the Governor. The Governor of Tamil Nadu is scheduled to visit the state and take stock of the situation.
Legal experts, however, say that Article 356 cannot be invoked at this juncture as there is no breakdown in the machinery of the state. Even if the president has to act on this petition filed by the advocate, he would have first call for a report from the Governor.