AIIMS forensic head has dubious medical past, say police and colleagues

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 04, 2014 01:35 IST

Dr Sudhir Gupta, the forensic head of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) who conducted Sunanda Pushkar’s autopsy, is no stranger to controversy.

His claim on Wednesday that he was under pressure to report that Pushkar died of natural causes is just a fraction of his controversial past.

Gupta earlier had come out with controversial medical reports in several high-profile cases.

In 2008, he claimed that Inspector MC Sharma’s death during the Batla House encounter occured from a very close range, triggering confusion about the incident.

After the Shopian encounter earlier this year, Gupta is said to have written to the Bar Association of Jammu and Kashmir claiming official reports as unreliable (investigation agencies later said this was illegal).

“Dr. Gupta is someone who has a medical opinion on everything irrespective of whether or not it is asked of him,” said a senior police officer on the condition of anonymity.

“He gives contrary medical opinion to the public through the media immediately after getting wind of what police investigation has established through months of hard work and examination.”

AIIMS officials have already levelled several charges against Gupta to the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), one of which happens to be publicising his medical opinions in cases like these.

“Take the Pushkar case for instance; the very next day after her death, Dr. Gupta went singing to the press with his grammatically incorrect version of her medical examination,” said another Delhi police officer.”It seemed senseless — especially for a medical professional with years of experience — and confused everyone. He did the same with the south district magistrate and the central forensic science labratory reports, both of which he raised queries on a basic technicality. It’s because of this the final review is still awaited.”

Gupta does not seem to have a good rapport with his colleagues either.

“In various sensitive cases like the Batla House case, Aarushi murder case, Azad case and the Nithari murder case, he went out and gave a parallel opinion to the media. This had an adverse affect on all the cases,” a former AIIMS professor said.

On June 14, 2014 he was summoned by the chief vigilance officer of AIIMS on the issue of leakage of post-mortem reports. On June 6, the Medical Council of India sent him a notice on the issue of plagiarism dating back to 2002 and he was summoned on June 12.

For a man who has a lot to say, Dr Gupta said surprisingly little on Thursday: “Not only the post mortem of Sunanda Pushkar but in a number of cases, reports finalised by me were as per principle and practice of medicine and adhering to ethical and legal norm.”

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