Dr. Balaji stated that former Chief Minister Jayalalitha affixed thumb impressions on documents related to polls held during her hospitalisation last year and that he had attested them.
He was testifying before the Madras High Court Justice P. Velmurugan hearing an election petition filed by DMK candidate P. Saravanan challenging the victory of AIADMK candidate A.K. Bose in the by-poll held for Tirupparankundram constituency. The challenge was mainly on the technical ground of validity of the thumb impressions on Form A and B.
During his testimony, Dr.Balaji stated that the late leader had affixed the thumb impressions on her own after the contents were read out to her. Jayalalithaa’s friend V.K. Sasikala was by her bedside when he obtained the thumb impressions at around 6.30 p.m. on October 27, 2016.
He denied the suggestion of having met incumbent Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam or any other Minister on that day.
He continued that the former Chief Minister got hospitalised on September 22 and he was assigned by the State government, through an order passed by the Health Secretary the very next day to coordinate and liaise with a team of doctors who treated her.
He added that he had gone through letters written by the Election Commission of India to the Chief Electoral Officer and consequent letters written by the latter to Returning Officers of three constituencies in Tamil Nadu and one in Puducherry permitting affixing of thumb impressions on the forms along with attestation of a government medical officer.
Responding to a question, he stated that he was not in possession of any video, audio, photographic or other record to prove that he was present at the spot when Ms. Jayalalithaa’s thumb impressions were obtained.
He also told the court that two additional Form A papers were there in the bunch of documents on which the thumb impressions of the former Chief Minister were obtained for the polls in the four constituencies and that he had attested those two forms too. He, however, feigned ignorance as to what happened to those two additional forms.