Former union minister and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has been absolved by the Central Administrative Tribunal of the charge of putting pressure on AIIMS doctor to submit a "tailor-made autopsy report" in the Sunanda Pushkar murder case.
A CAT bench comprising members Raj Vir Sharma and Ashok Kumar dismissed the plea of Sudhir Kumar Gupta, Head of Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, alleging that AIIMS had illegally purged his seniority with "malafide intention" to punish him for refusing to act unprofessionally in the Sunanda Pushkar autopsy matter.
"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," the panel said.
The CAT, in its order, rejected Gupta's claim that one O P Murty, also a doctor, was promoted after purging his seniority with the purpose to obtain a tailor-made report in the case.
"The decision having already been taken by the Governing Body on January 16, 2012 and April 14, 2012 to promote respondent no 3 (Murty) to the grade of Professor w.e.f. July 1, 2009, it cannot be said that the postmortem/autopsy of the dead body of late Sunanda Pushkar, who died on January 17, 2014, has any nexus with the process of consideration of respondent no 3's case for promotion...
"Therefore, the malice attributed by the applicant to the then President and Director of AIIMS is baseless," the tribunal said.
In his complaint before the tribunal, Gupta had claimed that he was asked to prepare tailor-made autopsy report giving clean chit, irrespective of his professional conclusions, after conducting autopsy of late Sunanda Pushkar.
The Centre, however, had denied the allegations on August 27, 2014, stating that the matter regarding promotion of Murty was referred to the Department of Personnel & Training and he was promoted only after its clarification.