The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has approached the Delhi high court to appoint a new forensic department head.
The application has been moved against the backdrop of the court’s March 25 directive that had asked the institute to inform them before replacing the incumbent, Dr Sudhir Gupta.
Dr Gupta, in his recent letter to the union minister for health and family welfare, JP Nadda, claimed victimisation by the previous government and AIIMS administration “for taking a principled and professional stand in the autopsy report of Sunanda Pushkar”.
“Dr Misra (AIIMS director) asked me to declare Sunanda Pushkar’s death as natural in the post-mortem report, which is contrary to the findings. There are certain emails which show the tacit understanding between the AIIMS director and Shashi Tharoor (Sunanda’s husband) for getting a tailor-made post-mortem report…” the letter read.
Dr Gupta also alleged that AIIMS had “filed a petition in the court to remove him without citing any reason”.
The AIIMS, in a statement issued on Tuesday, refuted the allegations.
“The Institute would like to categorically state that there were no extraneous pressure ever put on Prof Gupta with regard to his medical opinion for any case. Allegations being leveled against the institute in this regard are baseless and denied,” the institute said in a statement.
“Professor DN Bhardwaj, the senior most professor in the department of forensic medicine, was appointed as the head on August 1, 2012. Prof. Bhardwaj served as the head from August 2012 to July 2013. Subsequently, due to personal reasons, he requested to relinquish charge,” the statement read.
The charge was then given to professor Gupta.
But then the institute promoted Dr OP Murthy, additional professor of forensic medicine department, to the grade of professor. “As he was being superceded, Dr Gupta challenged the promotion of Dr Murthy in the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT). In its decicison dated March 4, 2015, CAT said that the original application besides being not maintainable is devoid of merit and liable to be dismissed,” the institute said.
The institute received an application from Dr Bhardwaj last year that he was willing to join as the head of the department. “…Given that Dr Bhardwaj is the senior most faculty, AIIMS has moved an application in the HC to appoint him to the post of HoD,” the institute explained.
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