CAT Extends Stay on Appointment of Forensic Head in AIIMS

The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) today extended its stay on the appointment of new head in the forensic medicine department of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) here in the wake of the Sunanda Pushkar autopsy row.

A bench of members Ashok Kumar and Raj Vir Sharma restrained AIIMS from appointing new head in the Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology till August 28, the next date of hearing.

The tribunal, on May 28, had stayed the appointment of new head in the forensic medicine department.

Currently, the department is headed by Dr Sudhir Kumar Gupta, who had taken the charge in August, 2013 as Professor and Head of Department .

The tribunal's order came over the plea of Dr Gupta claiming seniority and challenging the promotion granted to Dr OP Murthy and said it was "biased" and "mala fide".

Dr Gupta had claimed that former health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor had pressurised him to act in an "unprofessional" manner.

"AIIMS has deliberately and hurriedly prepared and considered the impugned approval at the instance of former president (of the institution) with mala fide intention to illegally punish the applicant herein for refusing to act un-professionally in Sunanda Pushkar autopsy matter.

"It is submitted that the applicant was asked to prepare tailor-made autopsy report giving clean chit irrespective of his professional conclusions," the rejoinder filed by Dr Gupta had stated.

52-year-old Pushkar was found dead in her hotel room here on January 17 and the death is still shrouded in mystery.

Dr Gupta had conducted the autopsy and prepared the post-mortem report of Pushkar with the conclusion reportedly saying that she died of drug poisoning.

On July 11, the premier medical institute had told the service tribunal that Gupta, head of its Forensic Medicine Department, was indulging in "publicity gimmick" by levelling charges of being pressurised over Sunanda Pushkar's autopsy.

AIIMS had said that instead of dealing with the main matter of promotion and seniority, Dr Gupta had levelled allegations bringing "negative publicity" to the premier medical body.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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