New Delhi: The Supreme Court today directed the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to set up a medical board to examine if DMK chief M Karunanidhi's wife, Ms Dayalu Ammal, was medically fit to depose before the court in the 2G case.
Ms Ammal, who is a prosecution witness in the case, had just days ago sought exemption from deposition before court citing health reasons.
Her petition was filed by daughter Selvi, who pleaded that a medical board be constituted to find out whether Ms Ammal was physically and mentally fit to come to Delhi from Chennai to depose before the special CBI court.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the petitioner, contended that Ms Ammal had been diagnosed with cognitive and behavioural abnormalities in June last year and that she is progressively and gradually losing recognition of even her near and dear ones and is unable to move out of the house on her own.
In the petition, it has been submitted that due to her physical and mental condition, Ms Ammal is prone to "abrasive behaviour, clumsy habit with sudden hitting or punching people, inappropriate talk and action and inability to take care of day-to-day activities".
The plea had earlier been moved in the Delhi High Court which on July 4 asked her to move the apex court for relief, as the 2G case is being monitored by it.
The special CBI court had on May 31 dismissed Ms Ammal's exemption plea, saying she is an "important witness" as she was a director in Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd in which an alleged bribe amount of Rs. 200 crore was received.
Ms Ammal had approached the special court seeking exemption from personal appearance as a witness and to dispense with her presence in the case citing her ailments.
The trial court's order assumed significance as Karunanidhi's daughter and DMK MP Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar, Managing Director of the TV channel, are facing trial in the case along with former Telecom Minister A Raja, DB Realty Ltd MD Vinod Goenka and others.
In its first chargesheet filed on April 2, 2011, CBI had said the money had travelled through a "circuitous route" through Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd, a DB group company and Cineyug Films Pvt Ltd, to Kalaignar TV in which Dayalu Ammal, Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar were having 60, 20 and 20 per cent shares respectively.
Ms Ammal was not named as an accused in the case by CBI which had said due to her advanced age and "non-understanding" of any language other than Tamil, she was only fulfilling the legal requirements of Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd in which she is one of the Directors.
CBI had said Ms Ammal had delegated her power to Sharad Kumar to run the company's affairs.