Union Minister Shashi Tharoor and Wife Sunanda Pushkar (Reuters)
Sunanda Pushkar with Shashi TharoorReuters

In a dark and dramatic twist to the Sunanda Puskhar death case, the head of the forensics department at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), who brought out her autopsy report, said that he was pressurised to submit a report citing "natural death."

Dr Sudhir Gupta, head of the forensic team in charge of Pushkar's postmortem, has reportedly written to the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) about being pressurised to show the death as "natural" by top officials. Doctors had initially stated that Pushkar's death was "sudden" and "unnatural".

Pushkar, the deceased wife of Congress Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor, was found dead under controversial circumstances in her hotel room in Delhi on 17 January, immediately after a Twitter controversy involving her, Tharoor and a Pakistani journalist hit national headlines.

Gupta claimed that he had given a report that had pinned the cause of death to drug poisoning, which could have been either suicidal or homicidal. Following this, he is said to have been targeted by the hospital's governing body and even feared losing his post, according to The Times of India.

Gupta, in his letter to the Central Vigilance Commission, has said there was a "malafide agenda" to oust him from his post as the Head of Department, which he said had "genesis in the cases of Sunanda Pushkar and Nido Tania."

"I had taken a professional and ethical stand, which went against the vested interests of certain persons in AIIMS," India Today quoted the letter.

Gupta said he was asked by former AIIMS President Ghulam Nabi Azad to "act in an unprofessional manner."

"(The) applicant could not muster courage of openly placing the facts in black and white as the former president of AIIMS Ghulam Nabi Azad was an immensely powerful politician and the then health minister, and the husband of late Sunanda Pushkar was also a minister and a powerful politician," the affidavit stated.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has now sought a report on the allegation from the Director of AIIMS. "Dr Gupta had given a letter related to his promotion, but media reported that there was a specific allegation in his letter. I have asked the AIIMS director for a report," Vardhan told the media.

Meanwhile, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has said he would file a petition by the end of this month, as he claimed that Pushkar was "murdered."

Pushkar's death had blown out into a major controversy following a Twitter war between her and Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar, whom the former had accused of having an affair with her husband, Tharoor.

Pushkar bore her heart out in an interview before her death, when she said, "This is a Pakistani woman who is an ISI (Inter Services Intelligence) agent, and she is stalking my husband. And you know how men are. He is flattered by the attention. I took upon myself the crimes of this man during IPL (Indian Premier League). I will not allow this to be done to me. I just can't tolerate this. I have nothing more to say."