AIIMS seeks HC permission to replace head of forensic dept


New Delhi: The AIIMS has moved Delhi High Court seeking permission to replace its forensic department head Sudhir Kumar Gupta, who has alleged discrimination after he claimed to have refused to act unprofessionally in the Sunanda Pushkar autopsy matter. All India Institute of Medical Sciences (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 court is slated to hear the matter on July 23.

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 March 25 order had come on Gupta’s plea challenging a March 4 decision of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) rejecting his charge that one Dr O P 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.

He also alleged that AIIMS had illegally purged his seniority with “malafide intention” to punish him for refusing to act unprofessionally in the autopsy matter. In its application, AIIMS said that Bhardwaj was senior to Gupta by four years and that Gupta had not challenged the former’s seniority either before CAT or in the high court.

Absolving former Union minister and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor of the charge of any wrong-doing, CAT had said, “the email sent by Shashi Tharoor, the then Union Minister, to Dr Rajiv Bhasin, on January 26, 2014, and the notice dated June 2, 2014 issued by Dr Adarsh Kumar, Member Secretary, Medical Board, AIIMS do not reveal anything to show that any pressure was put on the applicant to submit a tailor-made autopsy report in Sunanda Pushkar’s case.”