Sunanda case: AIIMS board expresses grave concern over probe

Sunanda died of "poisoning" with the AIIMS medical board unanimously concluding that there was presence of anxiety drug Alprax in her stomach.

Sunanda case: AIIMS board expresses grave concern over probe

New Delhi: The AIIMS medical board has expressed "grave concern" over the investigation into the Sunanda Pushkar case saying it raises serious medical and legal apprehension and called for appropriate legal remedial measures to be instituted.

In its opinion on the FBI report which had said that the samples provided to them were of low volume and degraded, the board was of the view that the case may have led to a complete "botched-up scenario" had the FBI not been consulted.

In its report, FBI stated that due to limited volume and generally degraded nature of the biological specimen submitted, "quantitation" of the identified drugs was not performed.

"The sample was received with low volume, high viscosity and was degraded. Consequently, in order to affect any analyses the sample was diluted with five millilitres of laboratory grade deionised water.

"This dilution of the sample raised the limits of detection for all analyses performed on item 11 (blood samples)," said the FBI report received by Delhi Police.

Referring to the aforementioned claims, the AIIMS medical board said, "This is a grave issue of concern for our legal investigation system... which raises serious medical and legal apprehension about the quality of forensic lab report,

supervision of legal investigation and custody of biological evidence in cases of death investigation.

"It creates doubt/lacunae in reference to various legal cases where the pangs of justice hinges upon the findings of viscera examination report and the same is required to be examined."

The board further said that appropriate legal remedial measures need to be instituted in this case as well as in the general interests of investigation and natural justice delivery system.

"The medical board is highly afraid that this case of deceased Sunanda Pushkar may have led to a complete botched-up scenario in the absence of the FBI report," the board said.

In its report, the FBI also ruled out the presence of illicit drugs, which includes opioid, methamphetamine (meth) and antihistamines.

Sunanda died of "poisoning" with the AIIMS medical board, which gave its opinion on the FBI report on her viscera samples, unanimously concluding that there was presence of anxiety drug Alprax in her stomach.

However, the board did not rule out the possibility of any injectable poison, in view of a particular mark on Sunanda's body, and said that the FBI report confirmed the presence of lidocaine in her body.

The board's opinion has been communicated to Delhi Police.

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