AIIMS prof, Tharoor may be quizzed in Pushkar case

AIIMS prof, Tharoor may be quizzed in Pushkar case

AIIMS prof, Tharoor may be quizzed in Pushkar case

The mystery surrounding former Union minister Shashi Tharoor’s wife Sunanda Pushkar’s death has taken a new turn following the claims of an AIIMS professor that he was under pressure from the UPA government to doctor her autopsy report.

Dr Sudhir Gupta, head of the department of forensic sciences at AIIMS, said he was under pressure to tweak the autopsy report of Pushkar as well as that of Nido Tania, a student from Arunachal Pradesh, who died in Delhi.

In the wake of his disclosure, the Delhi Police have said they will probe the fresh development in the Pushkar case. According to Delhi Police Commissioner Bhim Sain Bassi, they will question Gupta and even Tharoor, if needed. “This is a new development and we will examine it. If it is necessary to examine Dr Gupta, he will be examined,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tharoor in a statement said he had been requesting that the probe into his wife’s death be concluded rapidly and transparently. “I reiterate my request to bring this protracted inquiry to a clear and definitive conclusion at the earliest, so as to put all speculation to rest,” he said. Pushkar was found dead in her room at a five-star hotel in Delhi on January 17.

As Gupta’s controversial claims hit the headlines, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said the AIIMS professor had given a presentation to the ministry on issues concerning his promotion sometime ago. “But I learnt about his claims on Pushkar’s post-mortem report from the media and asked for a response from the AIIMS director,” he said.

Gupta said he had made the allegations in a letter on June 5 to Vardhan in which he claimed he took a “professional and ethical stand, which went against the vested interest of certain persons in AIIMS”. The professor also moved the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) in a promotion-related case in his department in which he named former health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and Tharoor, pointing needles of suspicion towards them.

 “AIIMS categorically denies any such allegation that there was an attempt to pressure Dr Gupta to change the post-mortem report. We learnt about the allegations from media reports and decided to clarify as AIIMS is a national institution and we are conscious of our responsibilities to the public. There has been no attempt to influence any report,” said Dr Neerja Bhatla, head of gynaecology and obstetrics.

 Gupta was quoted by a news agency as saying, “I don’t want to comment on this issue. It is a legal matter, a serious issue. I cannot share with the media. I am a government servant. Whatever I wanted to say, I have said at a competent place.”

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