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Crime
Sunanda Pushkar died of poisoning, says final autopsy findings
11-10-2014

NEW DELHI: AIIMS submitted its final post-mortem examination report on Sunanda Pushkar, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s wife, to Delhi Police on September 30, reiterating its finding in the preliminary report that the cause of death was poisoning.

In an annexure on points that need police investigation, doctors have suggested “it should be clarified when the deceased was last seen alive”.

“Mild foul-smelling gas was coming out and tache noir was present in left eye,” the report states. A tache noir is an ocular change seen in the eye after death, if the eye remains open, doctors said.

The final report has been prepared by the same panel of doctors who conducted the post-mortem examination.

The report was submitted to police along  with CFSL’s viscera findings given to AIIMS in March, which found no poison, but identified traces of eythl alcohol, caffeine, acetaminophen (a paracetamol) and cotinine (an alkali found in tobacco), none of which the doctors said can be related to the cause of death.

The doctors had said in the preliminary report that while the cause of death is poisoning, “circumstantial evidence”, which included empty strips of alprazolam tablets, “indicated alprazolam poisoning”. The histopathology tests in the viscera, however, found no traces of the drug.

Doctors, in their final report, have “reserved the opinion on specific poison/ chemical since there are a lot of limitations in the viscera report”.

Explaining these reservations in an annexure in the 12-page report, the three-member board has submitted a list of poisons “which are difficult or can’t be detected by our forensic labs”.