No pressure put on Sudhir Gupta in Pushkar case, says AIIMS; moves HC seeking to replace him

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) PRO Dr Amit Gupta clarified that there was no pressure put on the forensics department to alter medical opinion in the Sunanda Pushkar case.

"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.

 No pressure put on Sudhir Gupta in Pushkar case, says AIIMS; moves HC seeking to replace him

Sunanda Pushkar. PTI

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.

Earlier in the day reports suggested that, 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 JP 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".

AIIMS moves Delhi High Court

Meanwhile, AIIMS has moved Delhi High Court seeking permission to replace Sudhir Kumar Gupta and appoint Dr DN Bhardwaj as the new head of its Forensic Medicine and Toxicology Department. The court is slated to hear the matter on 23 July.

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.

The court's 25 March order had come on Gupta's plea challenging a 4 March decision of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) rejecting his charge that one Dr OP Murty was promoted after purging his seniority, with the purpose of obtaining a "tailor-made report" in the sensational murder case of Sunanda Pushkar Tharoor.

In his complaint before the tribunal, Gupta had claimed he was asked to prepare tailor-made autopsy report giving clean chit, irrespective of his professional conclusions, after conducting autopsy on Pushkar's body.

The government had denied the allegations before CAT on August 27 last year, stating that the matter regarding Murty's promotion was referred to the Department of Personnel and Training and he was promoted only after its clarification.

Gupta's plea has also alleged that Murty had "started creating difficulty in the routine functioning of Gupta as HoD, claiming seniority illegally conferred upon him."

He has contended that the CAT findings were "illegal and contrary to the law and facts and circumstances of the present case".

PTI

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Updated Date: Jun 02, 2015 20:36:51 IST