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Pune Porsche crash case: Recommendation to reinstate doctor, 45 missed calls from teen's father to MLA give new political twist

Taware had earlier been stripped of his duties after his suspected involvement in a kidney racket, despite which he had been reinstated as medical superintendent on the recommendation of Hasan Mushrif, medical education minister and Sunil Tingre an NCP MLA.
Last Updated : 30 May 2024, 12:24 IST
Last Updated : 30 May 2024, 12:24 IST

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Revelations of reinstatement of the now arrested Dr Ajay Taware in April this year despite his suspected involvement in a kidney racket in the past allegedly led to him being sent on a compulsory leave.

This comes in connection with a case where a minor boy's rash driving led to the death of two young IT professionals in Pune.

Both the teenager's father, realtor Vishal Agarwal, and Dr Taware have been arrested in related cases following the accident of May 19.

The suspension of Dr Ajay Taware, professor and head of the department of forensic medicine and Dr Shrihari Halnor, medical officer, was ordered by the Maharashtra Medical Education Department commissioner.

As per a report in The Times of India, Taware had earlier been stripped of his duties after his suspected involvement in a kidney racket, despite which he had been reinstated as medical superintendent on the recommendation of Hasan Mushrif, medical education minister and Sunil Tingre, an NCP MLA.

Following Dr Taware's arrest, a 2023 letter from the local NCP MLA Sunil Tingre to Maharashtra medical education minister Hasan Mushrif, recommending that the doctor be given additional charge of medical superintendent, has surfaced. In the letter dated December 26, 2023, Tingre said he knew Dr Taware who had worked as superintendent and discharged his duties well during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"I request you to kindly consider giving the additional charge of medical superintendent to Taware," the letter stated.

The letter also had a handwritten note from Mushrif, directing the Sassoon hospital's dean to give the additional charge to Dr Taware. Mushrif's note mentioned that, according to rules, a person of professor rank should be considered for the position, and the (then) medical superintendent did not fulfil the criteria.

However, Mushrif, who belongs to NCP led by Ajit Pawar, admitted that Dr Taware's appointment was made based on a letter submitted by the party MLA (Sunil Tingre).

When asked whether he was aware of past allegations against Dr Taware, the minister said, "I do not possess any divine powers so that I would know everything about each person and their deeds in my department".

He (the MLA) had recommended Dr Taware's appointment, and I approved it, the minister said.

"When the recommendation was made, the dean should have pointed out to us about the reputation of this person. I was abroad till May 24, and I learned about the whole incident on May 26," Mushrif claimed.

Member of Parliament and NCP (SP) leader Supriya Sule last week targeted Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis saying those in power should reveal who tried to pressure police in the Pune Porsche fatal crash.

“I also want to know how (MLA) Sunil Tingre intervened and helped (the boy) in getting bail. The state government is careless and insensitive. Be it drink and drive, drugs found in Pune or blasts in Dombivli MIDC, this government is not interested in solving issues,” she said.

In another development, a report in News18 claims that 45 missed calls were exchanged between Tingre and the minor's father on the night of the accident between 2:30 am and 3:45 am. Vishal Agarwal went to the MLA's house when these call went unanswered.

Questions were also raised after it emerged that Tingre had visited the Yerawada police station after the May19 accident. Police admitted that he visited the station, but claimed it did not have any impact on the probe.

State Congress chief Nana Patole, meanwhile, alleged that the Sassoon hospital was a "five-star hotel for criminals," and the Central Bureau of Investigation must probe the car crash case as there seemed to be political interference to save the "rich accused." The juvenile was accompanied by an MLA's son in the car, he further claimed. Patole also demanded the resignation of deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis who holds the Home portfolio.

Meanwhile, the father of the minor and Dr Ajay Taware of the Sassoon government hospital were also constantly in touch after the accident, and it was the government doctor who first suggested that the blood samples can be swapped, police claimed.

(With PTI inputs)

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Published 30 May 2024, 12:24 IST

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