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Pune doctors accused of exchanging teenager’s blood sample Porsche removed from posts; Staff member suspended

On Wednesday, amid major hearings in the Pune Porsche accident case, the Maharashtra government suspended three accused who allegedly tried to alter the blood sample of a 17-year-old accused.

News18 said earlier in the day that action against Dr Ajay Taware, head of the department of forensic medicine at the state-run Sassoon Hospital, medical director Dr Shrihari Halnor and staff member Atul Ghatkamble will be taken after the interim report of the inquiry committee, which sources said would be submitted in the afternoon.

Of the three, Dr. Taware is a first-class employee. Sources added that its permission will have to be given by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. However, Dr Halnor and Ghatkamble will be suspended with immediate effect following the submission of an interim report.

Taware, Halnor and Ghatkamble were arrested for allegedly throwing away blood samples of a minor taken after the May 19 accident and replacing them with blood samples from another person that contained no traces of alcohol.

A three-member inquiry committee visited Sassoon General Hospital in Pune on Tuesday. “We will investigate the sequence of events after the accident. An investigation will be conducted as per regulations and a report will be submitted to the government,” said Dr Pallavi Sapale, dean of Grant Medical College and JJ Group of Hospitals.

Sources said committee members visited the emergency department and also understood the process of collecting a blood sample, securing it and sending it to the forensic laboratory.

Two IT specialists died after their motorcycle was hit by a speeding Porsche car, allegedly driven by a 17-year-old boy, in the wee hours of May 19 near Kalyani Nagar. The blood report is key evidence because police say the teenager visited two pubs before the incident.

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Sources said earlier Wednesday News18 that Dr. Taware spoke on phone to designer Vishal Agarwal, father of the Pune Porsche accident accused, at least 14 times.

The police suspect that the conversations were intended to discuss “changing the blood sample”, as the conversations took place while samples were being taken for testing.

Ever since his name came up in the case, Dr. Taware has been in the limelight due to his checkered past.

According to reports, Dr. Ajay Taware’s name came up in connection with the kidney scandal in 2022. He was asked to step down from his post in April this year when a case of illegal organ transplantation was exposed at Ruby Hall Clinic a month earlier. The alleged scandal came to light after the woman filed a complaint alleging that she was promised Rs 15 lakh in exchange for a kidney.