Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Porsche crash blood sample swap: Two doctors of Sassoon Hospital suspended, dean sent on leave | India News

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government on Wednesday suspended two doctors of state-run Sassoon General Hospital and a staffer, two days after they were arrested in connection with the alleged manipulation of blood samples of the minor driver involved in the Porsche car crash in Pune. Separately, B J Medical College and Sassoon Civil Hospital dean Dr Vinayak Kale has been sent on compulsory leave and the additional charge is handed over to Dr Chandrakant Mhaske.
The suspension of Dr Ajay Taware, professor and head of the department of forensic medicine and Dr Shrihari Halnor, medical officer, was ordered on the recommendation given by the Maharashtra Medical Education Department commissioner.
“The state government has received a report from the three-member committee appointed to look into the allegations. Based on the committee’s report, the medical education department has issued an order to suspend these two officials (doctors)”, state Medical Education Minister Hasan Mushrif told reporters.
Dr Chandrakant Mhaske is the incumbent dean at Punyashlok Ahilyadevi Government Medical College, Baramati, in Pune district.
Pune Police had arrested the two doctors and Atul Ghatkamble, a class IV employee of the Sassoon Hospital, after it emerged that the blood samples of the juvenile driver were thrown into a dustbin and replaced with another person’s samples which showed no traces of alcohol. The trio was remanded in police custody till May 30.
According to police, the minor driver was drunk at the time of the incident which resulted in the death of two IT professionals in the early hours of May 19 in Kalyani Nagar area of Pune city.
Meanwhile, Mushrif, who belongs to NCP led by Ajit Pawar, admitted that Dr Taware’s appointment was made based on a letter submitted by the party MLA (Sunil Tingare).
When asked whether he was aware of past allegations against Dr Taware, the minister said, “I do not possess any divine powers so that I would know everything about each person and their deeds in my department”.
He (the MLA) had recommended Dr Taware’s appointment, and I approved it, the minister said.
“When the recommendation was made, the dean should have pointed out to us about the reputation of this person. I was abroad till May 24, and I learned about the whole incident on May 26,” Mushrif claimed.
He said changing the blood samples is a very major and disappointing thing.
“Courts completely rely on the results of the blood test and postmortem reports. I had given directives to officials to teach the perpetrators a lifetime lesson. Thus, we have taken the (suspension) decision today,” the minister said.
On the role of the hospital employee, a government order stated that “the inquiry has found that Ghatkamble changed the blood samples of the juvenile on the night of May 19 and gave it in a sealed envelope. He has been remanded in police custody till May 30. As he would be staying in custody for more than 48 hours, Ghatkamble is suspended from duty.
Amid outrage over the car crash, Police had arrested the father and grandfather of the minor for allegedly trying to stall the probe.
The grandfather had allegedly tried to wrongfully confine the family driver in their bungalow from May 19 to May 20 and pressured him to take the blame for the accident.
The prosecution had told a local court that financial transactions had taken place in the alleged replacement of the original blood sample of the juvenile driver with another person’s sample by the two doctors.
The juvenile’s father had called one of the doctors and asked him to change the samples, the prosecution said, adding that police wanted to investigate who else had given the instructions to manipulate the samples.
The juvenile was sent to remand home till June 5.