The Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) has suspended former Colombo Chief Judicial Medical Officer(JMO) Prof Ananda Samarasekara from medico-legal practice for six months following a formal inquiry on removing slain ruggerite Wasim Thajudeen’s body parts and bones.
Prof Samarasekara was the former Colombo Chief Judicial Medical Officer who performed the first postmortem examination on Thajudeen’s charred body found in 2012. He is the Head of the Forensic Medicine Department of SAITM. “When the second autopsy was carried out in 2015 by exhuming Thajudeen’s body, it was found that the chest plate, trachea (windpipe) and two long bones which had symmetrical fractures were missing.
The SLMC received an order from the Colombo JMO who carried out the second autopsy to investigate and find out whether removal of those body parts was done following the proper procedure or whether it accounts for medical negligence.
The SLMC panel that conducted the inquiry for six months found Prof Samarasekara guilty of three out of six charges,” an SLMC member told the Daily News.
He said the SLMC findings would be informed to the court in writing on Monday.
“Prof Samarasekara’s SLMC registration has been suspended for six months with effect from last Friday.
Without SLMC registration he could not engage in private practice as well,” he stated.
However, when the Daily News contacted a legal counsel to Prof Samarasekara, he said the disciplinary committee of the SLMC has not found him guilty of “intentionally or negligently misplacing or losing the bones of Thajudeen”, but has found him guilty of “failing to follow the procedure laid down in certain documents when body parts were removed”.
“His name has not been suspended from being a medial practitioner.
He has only been suspended from engaging in medico-legal practice for six months. That means he cannot function as a JMO, but that does not matter because he is retired from the public service.
He is only working at SAITM and there is nothing that prohibits him from functioning at SAITM.
He continues to be a doctor,” he said.
“We will be challenging the SLMC findings because in our opinion he could not have been found guilty of any charge whatsoever and should have been exonerated. We are contemplating to take legal action against the SLMC decision,” he added.