The head of the forensics department at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has stirred the hornet’s nest by claiming that he was pressured into giving a tailor-made report in the Sunanda Tharoor death case.
Sunanda Tharoor, wife of the-then Union minister Shashi Tharoor, was found dead in suite 345 of south Delhi’s Leela hotel on January 17 this year. Her body was reportedly found by Tharoor around 8pm, when he returned to the hotel after attending a meeting of the All India Congress Committee.
Sources said Dr Sudhir Gupta, who headed the team of forensic experts that conducted the postmortem, has written to the health ministry and the chief vigilance commission complaining that he was pressured by top officials to show it as a “natural death”. Dr Gupta has claimed that he is now being targeted because he did not bow to the pressure and gave a report stating that Sunanda’s death was caused by drug poisoning that could be both suicidal or homicidal.
According to AIIMS sources, the governing body of the hospital had recently approved a proposal to promote another doctor from the forensics department retrospectively and Gupta feared that he could be replaced as the head of the department. He has also filed a complaint with the central administrative tribunal in this regard.
However, when contacted, Dr Gupta refused to comment. “I have written to the authorities concerned about my grievances. I don’t want to make any further comment on the issue,” he said. AIIMS director Dr MC Misra was not available for comment.