AIIMS rejects Sudhir Gupta’s allegation of pressure on him in Sunanda case
New Delhi: AIIMS today rejected allegations levelled by its Head of Department of Forensic Medicine Sudhir Gupta that he was pressurised to manipulate the post mortem report of Sunanda Pushkar, wife of then Union Minister Shashi Tharoor.
“The AIIMS administration categorically denies any such allegation that there was any attempt to pressurise Sudhir Gupta to change the postmortem report,” it said.
When asked if Gupta faced pressure from outside, as he has hinted in an affidavit, AIIMS spokesperson Amit Gupta told reporters the administration was not aware of it but if there was any pressure from outside then he will have to bring evidence on it.
“We have no evidence that he was under pressure from outside and how he reacted to that,” the spokesperson and Media and Protocol Department Head Neerja Bhatla said.
The premier health institute did not rule out disciplinary action against Gupta, saying “if AIIMS feels or if we get any directive then action will be taken as per rules”.
Gupta has filed an affidavit before Central Administrative Tribunal against the move to promote a faculty member which, he alleged, was started under the then UPA government so that he could be removed as the head of the department as he did not change the post mortem report.
Sunanda (52) was found dead in a 5-star hotel in South Delhi on the night of January 17, a day after her twitter spat with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar over an alleged affair with Tharoor.
Gupta refused to comment on his reported allegation, saying he has already stated the facts before the “competent” authorities.
“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,” he said.
Gupta, who was heading the panel that conducted Sunanda’s postmortem, has reportedly alleged he was pressurised to show that her death was natural which he resisted.
The autopsy report had mentioned more than a dozen injury marks on Sunanda’s both hands and an abrasion on her cheek which suggests a “use of blunt force”, besides a “deep teeth bite” on the edge of her left palm. Viscera samples were preserved after the autopsy at AIIMS and were sent to CFSL for further tests.
The CFSL report hinted at drug poisoning but its findings were not conclusive enough to file an FIR in the case, according to police.