Was asked to declare Sunanda Pushkar's death 'natural': AIIMS forensic chief
New Delhi: Dr Sudhir Gupta, who is sought to be removed as head of AIIMS forensic department, has alleged a “tacit understanding” between the institute's Director and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor for making a “tailor made” post-mortem report on Sunanda Pushkar's death.
In a letter to Union Health Minister J P Nadda, who is also the President of AIIMS, he claimed there were certain emails which show a “tacit understanding” between AIIMS Dr M C Mishra and Tharoor over the post mortem of Pushkar, who had died under mysterious circumstances in a Delhi hotel in January last year.
“I was asked by Dr Mishra to give a post mortem report of late Sunanda Pushkar as natural death which was contrary to the findings,” he said in his letter dated May 28.
However, Gupta maintained that he did not succumb to pressure and gave the factual report as an “upright official”.
Mishra refused to comment on the media queries over Dr Gupta's allegations.Dr Gupta was backed by Dr Adarsh Kumar, who was also a member of the board of doctors which conducted the post mortem, saying it was asked to give the manner of death as “natural” in contradiction to the post mortem findings “when we did not succumb to the pressure”.
However, the AIIMS rejected the allegations. “The Institute would like to categorically state that there were no extraneous pressures ever put on Prof. Sudhir Kumar Gupta with regard to his medical opinion for any case.
“Allegations being levelled against the Institute in the media by Prof. Gupta in this regard are baseless and denied,” an AIIMS statement said.
AIIMS spokesperson Dr Amit Gupta also maintained that due procedures were followed by the institute in seeking replacement of Dr Gupta as head of the forensic department in the High Court.
He also hit out at the previous UPA government accusing it of “victimising” him over Pushkar's post mortem report.
The AIIMS has sought the court's permission to appoint Dr D N Bhardwaj as the new head of its Forensic Medicine and Toxicology Department.
The application has been moved against the backdrop of the court's March 25 direction, by which it had asked the Institute to take its permission before replacing Gupta.