Blood Sample Tamper Case: Sassoon Hospital’s Two Doctors, Staff In Police Custody Till May 30, Role Of Politician Under Investigation

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Reported by Mubarak Ansari & Tikam Shekhawat

Shivajinagar, 27th May 2024: A judicial magistrate court today remanded Dr. Ajay Taware (38), Head of the Forensic Medicine Department at Sassoon Hospital, CMO Dr. Shrihari Halnor (35), and staff member Atul Namdev Ghatkamble (30) to police custody until May 30. The two doctors are accused of tampering with the blood report of a minor involved in a Porsche car accident that resulted in the deaths of two IT engineers.

Crime Branch ACP (Crime 1) Sunil Tambe presented the accused before the court of JMFC AA Pandey and requested their police custody. “We need to investigate builder Vishal Agarwal, the father of the minor accused, on whose instructions the blood sample of the minor driver was changed. The investigation has revealed that the accused conspired for financial gains. Besides Agarwal, on whose instructions the accused changed the blood sample,” ACP Tambe submitted.

Advocate Sudhir Shah, representing Dr. Taware, and Advocate Vipul Dushing, representing Halnor, argued that all sections, except IPC 467, are bailable and requested the court not to grant police custody to their clients.

After hearing both sides, the magistrate remanded the accused to police custody until May 30.

Earlier in the day, Commissioner of Police Amitesh Kumar informed, “The accused changed the blood sample, leading to a negative report for alcohol consumption. We have proof that the minor accused had consumed liquor before the accident. The doctors had thrown the minor driver’s blood sample in a dustbin.”

The accident occurred around 2:30 am on May 19 (Sunday) near Landmark Garden society on Kalyani Nagar – Airport road. The minor driver had visited two pubs – Cosie and Blak Club in the Mundhwa area – to celebrate his 12th board exam results. While returning, he drove a Porsche car at over 160 km per hour, colliding with the motorcycle of IT engineers Ashwini Koshta (24) and Aneesh Awadhiya (24), both of whom died in the incident.

In an attempt to save the minor driver, his father, builder Vishal Agarwal, owner of Bramha Realty and Infrastructure, and grandfather Surendra Kumar Agarwal, allegedly used their influence to coerce their driver into taking the blame. Local NCP MLA Sunil Tingre reportedly reached the Yerwada police station to assist in the case. A meeting was held at a cafe near Joggers’ Park in Kalyani Nagar.

Earlier, MLA Tingre had written to Minister Hasan Mushrif seeking a medical superintendent charge for Dr Taware at Sassoon Hospital.

Police stated that Vishal Agarwal called Dr Taware for help. Consequently, the minor’s blood sample was discarded, and another person’s blood sample was sent to the FSL under the minor’s name, resulting in a negative alcohol test.

Sources indicate that a businessman from Koregaon Park was present at the Yerawada police station on May 19 for negotiations on behalf of the Agarwals. It is also reported that a known MCOCA offender, a notorious betting king and gangster, was present.

Ghatkamble, an employee arrested from Sassoon Hospital, was in contact with the criminal present at the police station and acted as the middleman between the Agarwals and Dr. Taware.