JJ report won’t affect probe against fertility centre, says MMC

The Maharashtra Medical Council's (MMC's) probe against 'Rotunda: The Centre for Human Reproduction' will remain unaffected even after a committee of doctors from the state-run JJ hospital concluded that there was no negligence on the centre's part in the case pertaining to the death of 17-year-old Sushma Pandey, an oocyte donor who died in 2010.

Dr Kishor Taori, president of MMC, said, "The MMC is a statutory body and can carry independent investigation into this matter. Our decision will not be prejudiced by JJ hospital's report. We will still call the center's director in this month's meeting for a hearing."

While Dr Gautam Allahbadia, director at the Bandra-based centre, was sent a notice by MMC to file a response to the complaint by Sushma's mother Pramila Pandey (44), he has filed no report till now. "He (Allahbadia) had asked for an extension and we had sent him a second notice to reply within seven days. Even that time has lapsed," Taori said. Allahbadia was sent the second notice 10 days ago.

Dr Shivkumar S Utture, executive committee member of MMC, said, "The MMC will probe whether Allahbadia was aware of Sushma's age and had accepted her as a donor."

If proven guilty, Allahbadia, who is also a member of the drafting committee of the Assisted Reproductive Technologies (Regulation) Bill, 2010, could lose his licence.

The police had sought the JJ Hospital's report following a directive from the Bombay High Court to probe the role of the centre in Sushma's death. While Sushma's employer, accused of poisoning her, was discharged by the court in 2012, Sanaullah Mustakin, the man who accompanied her to the hospital has sought discharge on parity.

tabassum.barnagarwala@expressindia.com

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