Kidneys for your breakfast… ?
By Maxwell Pereira
maxpk@vsnl.com

A PCR call - regarding breach of peace near the Hanuman Mandir. A quarrel, that leads the Connaught Place police to intervene and enquire for action warranted. The quarrelling parties are taken to the police station. Questioning gets strange facts to tumble out, unbelievably shocking, unearthing what is now being bandied about in the media as the 'Kidney Transplantation Racket'.

The story unfolds - of an apparent plot of trickery and fraudulent deals, a nexus and networking for exploitation of the poor, weak and the vulnerable… of middlemen, touts and behind the scene operators and unseen puppeteers with strings at their finger-tips… involving big names, so called do-gooder Samaritans in the guise of philanthropic doctors and reputed hospitals… all for big money - be it as succour to the needy, compensation and commission or remuneration to the facilitators, or as fees and charitable donations to the hospital in question - in gratitude? A story of how laws can be bent or circumvented to suit one's end by preparation of false documents and records to meet the superficially probing eye of the so-called safeguards ensured against the evil designs of those invariably on the prowl or look-out.

Kishore Kumar of Motihari, Bihar tells the police he was deceived by one Sanjay Singh @ Sanjay Bihari into admission at one of Delhi's premier multi-speciality hospitals - the Army Research and Referral Hospital, on the pretext of getting treated for a stomach ailment. To facilitate admission and treatment at this hospital exclusive to Army personnel, he had merely to sign some documents - affidavits, consent letters and the like, and impersonate as one Jagdish Bridke, the brother of a Beena Devi and son of one Neelambar Bridke of Bano Village in Ranchi. An illiterate, he does what he is told just to get treated free at this impressive hospital, signs as Jagdish the documents - all prepared in English, little knowing that on record he is the willing donor of his kidney to his 'sister' Beena Devi.

After the clandestine 'donation' of his kidney, related recuperation and hospitalization, Kishore is discharged and goes back to his village. Complications crop up though after some time. He seeks medical help for suspected kidney stone at a Patna hospital, where doctors tell him he is minus his left kidney! A horrified Kishore comes back to Delhi in search of Sanjay Bihari, who takes him to another Sanjay at Hanuman Mandir. The confrontation and the resultant quarrel generates the PCR call that brings the police in the picture.

Sanjay reveals he got Rs.5000/- for procuring a potential kidney donor and further spills the beans on the varied contours and ramifications of the racket. The police make progress by immediately rounding up some more touts in the network including, Sanjay, Mukesh Bhatt and Rakesh Kumar - sub-agents of Sanjay Bihari. All of them scouted for poor young vagabonds who were ill and could easily be lured with the promise of treatment, or others whose dire need for money made them easy targets. The prospective victims tricked into donating their kidney - some out of need as willing partners to the illegality and with full knowledge of what they were up to, and many others blissfully ignorant and unaware.

Revelations to the police investigators alerts concerned authorities at RR to constitute immediately a Court of Inquiry into possible irregularities committed by its staff by violating procedures or using fraudulent means for procuring organs for transplant. Reluctant to produce records and documents sought by the police or facilitate questioning of its doctors, technicians and staff associated with transplant cases for reasons of pending Court of Inquiry, they also move petitions in the MM's court of jurisdiction seeking direction to the police to hand over the investigation material, and the complainants and witnesses relied upon - ostensibly to facilitate their Court of Inquiry.

However, considering the provisions of the Organ Transplant Act, and the exceptions in the rules providing protection and immunity from civilian investigation into criminal misdemeanour on the part of personnel covered under the Army Act, the Metropolitan Magistrate's Court declines their prayer and the petitions are discharged as withdrawn.

Investigations throw up more facts. More players and victims are identified. Police find the organ transplantation racket closely linked to the cadre of professional blood donors mainly from the lower strata from the footpaths, and hangers-on outside Blood Banks of most reputed hospitals. Hawks operating as middlemen and touts zero in on the blood grouping of these professional blood donors for an eventual or possible match with the requisites of a demand for a particular kidney transplantation at any of the major hospitals. Shockingly, most big names providing related medical facility are found not immune to the racket. In all fairness though, it is considered prudent not to cast undue aspersions on the fair name of any.

Also, details considered detrimental to the interests of ongoing investigations are withheld, as already the pre-mature appearance of unbaked information in part of the media put a spoke in the investigation and hampered its speedy progress.

As per the Transplantation of Human Organ Act - 1994, the donor of the kidney is also liable as the accused if donation is made for monetary considerations; and any person or agent who does the brokering for such deals for money.

900 words: 05.10.2004: Copy Right © Maxwell Pereira: 3725 Sec-23, Gurgaon-122002. You can interact with the author at http:// www.maxwellperira.com and maxpk@vsnl.com

TOP


|| Profile | Achievements | Awards||
|| Press Clipping | Publications | Photo Gallery ||
||
I Believe |Guest Book | E-mail | Home ||