Kidney transplant racket: Dera Bassi Hospital under scanner, 2 arrested

Mohali: Two people including the transplant coordinator of a private hospital have been placed under arrest by the Dera Bassi police after almost 35 illegal kidney transplant incidents came to light which were conducted over the past two years.

The arrest came following the investigation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by SP (Rural) Navreet Virk and comprising Dera Bassi ASP and the Station house officer. The illegal transplantations took place at Indus International Hospital a 500-bed private facility spread over 3.5 acres on the Chandigarh-Ambala highway.

There were 11 such illegal transplant operations in 2021, 17 in 2022 and another seven up through March 7 of the current year, reports a Daily.

According to investigators, one of the residents of Uttar Pradesh was the modus operandi of the whole illegal transplantation racket and the coordinator of the accused hospital was also a part of it. The touts seek out those in need and convince them to donate their organs in exchange for 4-5 lakh rupees.

After locating a suitable recipient in need of an organ, they create fake copies of the paperwork needed for the transplant. How the touts created bogus Aadhar cards and other documents is being looked into by the police.

The matter came to light after one of the kidney donors alleged that the coordinator of the hospital promised him Rs 10 Lakh in exchange for his kidney. The hospital staff allegedly prepared fake documents and showed him as the son of the patient to enable him for the kidney donation, reports The Indian Express.

As per a recent media report, the complainant has been identified as a 28-year-old young man from Sirsa in Haryana and he claimed that he had donated his kidney to a 53-year-old man from Panipat. The hospital staff is accused of creating his fake identification documents, including his voter’s card and Aadhaar card, as well as his blood group records to introduce him as the son of the patient.

In exchange for his kidney, the hospital coordinator was supposed to pay him Rs. 10 lakh. The transplant was carried out on March 6, but the donor said that only Rs 4 lakh was given to him. After the transplantation, he was admitted to Derabassi civil hospital and he contacted the police helpline number and gave up information about the racket. “I gave this money to my friend for double it but he too cheated me. I lost money and my kidney,” the donor told the police.

The police arrested the coordinator of the hospital along with another staff member based on the complaint of the donor. The managing director of the hospital claimed that although some hospital staff’s role in the whole illegal transplantation had come to light, the facility or the authorities had no knowledge of any such illegal activity. He further stated that they are cooperating with the police in the investigation process.

Giving details, ASP Ahluwalia said a case under Sections 419 (cheating by personation), 465 (forgery), 467(forgery of valuable security, will, etc), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged 1[document or electronic record]) and 120 (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, and Sections 19 and 20 of the Transplantation of Human Organ Act (THOA), was registered on March 18, reports the Hindustan Times.

One needs to take approval from three types of committees before performing any transplant. “First is a state-level committee, the second is the hospital-based authorisation committee, where approval is sought from the Directorate of Research and Medical Education, Punjab, and the third is a competent committee from the hospital performing the transplant, headed by the hospital director, in this case, Dr SS Bedi. Organ donations can only be conducted among blood relatives, whereas for all other transplants, approval is sought from competent authorities. However, during the preliminary probe, we found that these guidelines were not followed properly at Indus Hospital,” said Ahluwalia.

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