Three-page report points out acts of tactical negligence by Delhi police
Pankaj Kumar | January 9, 2015 | New Delhi
The Delhi police on January 1 filed an FIR in the case of Sundanda Pushkar’s death in mysterious circumstances a year ago, the obvious question is what prompted police to wake up?
The answer is in the second report submitted by the medical board headed by Dr Sudhir Gupta, the head of forensics at AIIMS, to police. This report, submitted on December 29 to the investigating officer, clearly indicates various acts of negligence by police at the crime scene.
The three-page report, exclusively accessed by Governance Now, bears the signatures of Dr Gupta, Dr Shashank Punia, and Dr Adarsh [one name], and categorically makes the following seven points, raising doubts about the conduct of police too.
1. Cause of death is unnatural, natural death is ruled out (written in bold letters).
2. Cause of death is poisoning, it could be oral but the injectible route cannot be ruled out.
3. Injuries caused on the body are from forceful objects as there is visible blunt injury caused by sharp objects. There is a bite mark on the hand as well.
4. In the hotel room (“place of occurrence”) pieces of broken glass were found on the carpet and near the curtain which is suggestive of some scuffle.
5. A big patch mark was found on the bed-sheet which is suggestive of long-time urination on the bed. It is due to either deep sleep or the unconscious state of the victim for long hours. Later on, the CFSL report also found three medicines in the urine sample.
6. Inventory of the articles found at the crime scene has neither been placed on record nor handed over to the board. It needs to be placed before the board.
7. Each of the above points is important to find out the truth from the crime scene as well as the post-mortem examination, as mentioned in the authoritative book written by the well-known author expert S Ritz-Timme.
Thus, Delhi police sources admit that the report has raised questions for police, asking why the crime scene was not properly examined and why all inventory, like broken pieces of glass, was not submitted to the board. Though the board has not directly used the term ‘homicide’ to accuse anyone directly, it has quoted an expert to point out that whether it was a suicide or homicide can be proved with the all inventory collected from the crime scene.
Most importantly, the medical board has pointed to a scuffle, injuries by a blunt object and a big patch of urine on the bed-sheet. These are the findings of the medical report that compelled police to restart investigation keeping the homicide angle in mind.
Police earlier was playing safe by leaving the matter to the medical board. Governance Now was the first to report that Dr Gupta, the forensics head at AIIMS, was under pressure from AIIMS director Dr MC Mishra, then health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad (ex officio AIIMS president) and the health ministry to deliver a tailor-made report.
Read that story here: AIIMS doc 'uses' Sunanda death case for internal wrangling]
Dr Gupta, however, refused do so by leaving open a loose end in his report. Dr Mishra even ordered his removal as the head of the forensics department, but Dr Gupta went to the central administrative tribunal (CAT) to challenge the move. The CAT has stayed the order as it hears the matter.
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