The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) today told a service tribunal that Dr Sudhir Kumar Gupta, head of its Forensic Medicine Department, was indulging in "publicity gimmick" by levelling charges of being pressurised over Sunanda Pushkar's autopsy.
AIIMS said that instead of dealing with the main matter of promotion and seniority, Dr Gupta has levelled allegations bringing "negative publicity" to the premier medical body.it.
"Something not related to this case is being used for publicity by Dr Gupta. He is beneficiary of all the selective leaking being done by him," Mehmood Pracha, counsel for AIIMS said told the Principal Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT).
"AIIMS is getting all the negative publicity, he is crossing all limits of discipline," he said.
The counsel for AIIMS was arguing the matter before the CAT which was hearing plea of Dr Gupta claiming seniority and alleging that a person junior is being promoted.
Meanwhile, during the proceedings, the tribunal fixed July 30 as next date of hearing and ordered the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to file a reply by July 25.
Dr Gupta, who was appointed as Head of Department (HOD) of the forensic department in 2013, has challenged the promotion granted to Dr OP Murthy and said it was "biased" and "mala fide".
Dr Gupta had claimed that the former health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor had pressured him to act in an "unprofessional" manner.
"AIIMS has deliberately and hurriedly prepared and considered the impugned approval at the instance of former president (of the institution) with mala fide intention to illegally punish the applicant herein for refusing to act unprofessionally in Sunanda Pushkar autopsy matter.
"It is submitted that the applicant was asked to prepare tailor-made autopsy report giving clean chit irrespective of his professional conclusions," the rejoinder filed by Dr Gupta had stated.
Pushkar was found dead in her hotel room here on January 17 and the death is still shrouded in mystery.