In a first in Maharashtra, a medical officer has lost his registration for five years for filing an erroneous post-mortem report which pronounced the murder of a KEM medical graduate as 'natural'. The Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) ordered the suspension of Dr Pankaj Gajre as the false report misled the police and threw off investigations.
The deceased, Dr Mukund Kedia, an MBBS graduate from Parel's KEM Hospital, was found dead in his car under mysterious circumstances in May 2010. Despite alleged tell-tale signs of an unnatural death, including injuries, bleeding from the mouth and clenching of tongue between teeth, Gajre had stated in his post-mortem report that the 23-year-old died of a coronary artery disease. A further probe by forensic experts from KEM, Sion and JJ hospitals said the signs were akin to ''asphyxiation due to smothering'' deaths.
The MMC order has come as a first victory for the family. "We have lost six years trying to convince the authorities that it was not a natural death or suicide attempt but a clear case of murder," said Mukund's father, Dr Santosh. A general physician with a medical practice of 40 years at Andheri's J B Nagar, the senior citizen was the first to unlock his son's car with duplicate keys and spot the body. "His eyes were blood-shot. There was bleeding from his mouth and several brownish contusions on the body. Even a lay person could say that it was not a case of heart attack," Kedia told TOI.
Gajre, an MBBS graduate, was on duty at Cooper Hospital's state-run mortuary, and had carried out the autopsy without assistance from seniors. "He first told us that my son has consumed something corrosive that burnt his esophagus, which surprisingly was not mentioned in the autopsy report. We were later shocked to find out that 'heart attack' was given as the cause of death," said the father. He said an appropriate autopsy report would have set the cops on the right trail to catch the culprits.
MMC president Dr Kishor Taori said the quasi-judicial body has taken a tough stance as it was a rare case. "Prima facie, there was gross negligence by the doctor. It is also a case of exploiting people's offices. Because of such doctors, good ones also suffer in the fraternity," he said. Gajre told TOI he would challenge MMC order.
Gajre is no longer into clinical practice or living in Mumbai. "I stand by my findings that the boy died of natural causes. So many youngsters are getting heart attacks nowadays. There was no ulterior motive. I wrote in my report what I thought was correct. The injury marks on his body were actually signs of decomposition," he told TOI.
After six years, Mukund's parents have got a flicker of hope for justice. "He was a good child who volunteered with Doctors for You and travelled to places hit by natural calamities to offer medical care. He had no enemies," said the father. On the day he went missing, Mukund had gone to the KEM library to prepare for his PG entrance.
The police, the family claimed, has shown little urgency to solve the case. After the family went to court to expedite investigations, the police were directed to carry out a thorough probe in December 2014. But the family was called to the Andheri police station (crime branch) only in February this year. After being a housewife, Mukund's mother has taken up teaching at a nearby college to keep her mind off the case. "We want justice and some closure," said the mother.
I just wonder, if the above action by the Maharashtra MCI is the result of PARLIAMENTARY STANDING COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS INCLUSION OF “NON-DOCTOR” MEMBERS IN MCI TO STOP MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE AND HEALTHCARE CORRUPTION.
This was published on the 10th in our blog.