New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday pulled up AIIMS forensic department head Sudhir Kumar Gupta for not serving the copy of his reply to the institute and other parties, observing that he was trying to "delay" the proceedings on a plea seeking his replacement.
"Counsel for petitioner (AIIMS) says that he has not received the copy of reply which has been filed by the respondent (Gupta). It has been found that copy of reply was posted at the address of AIIMS, which appears to be a delaying tactics on the part of respondent," a bench of Justices G S Sistani and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal said.
During the brief hearing, Gupta who had earlier alleged discrimination after he claimed to have refused to act unprofessionally in the Sunanda Pushkar autopsy matter, said the way his replacement was being sought by All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) was not justified.
"Earlier, the convention adopted by the institute in replacing the head of a department was that either the incumbent was unavailable or he or she resigns from the post, only in those cases a new person was appointed," Gupta's counsel Senior Advocate Amarendra Sharan said.
To this, the bench observed, "you can't continue to be a head of department forever."
The counsel then alleged that Dr D N Bhardwaj, whose appointment as the new head of the Forensic Medicine and Toxicology Department is being sought by AIIMS, is not a competent person to hold the post.
"He (Bhardwaj) has Parkinson's disease and he is the person who has left a bullet during an autopsy of victim in a Ponty Chadha case," Sharan alleged, adding that Bhardwaj does not deserve to be the head of a department.
To this, the bench said "may be he has Parkinson's disease of a very initial stage. This can't be a ground for not allowing a person to be a head of department."
The bench then posted the matter for September 3.
On July 1, the court had sought Gupta's response on a plea by AIIMS seeking its permission to appoint Bhardwaj as the new head of its forensic department.