A Delhi court on Monday denied bail to a 22-year-old kidney recipient, arrested in connection with an organ racket recently busted at a private hospital here. The court said he had knowingly participated in the transplantation process, which prima facie appeared to be a “pre-planned criminal conspiracy”.
The court rejected the application of Ashutosh, the 13th accused arrested in the scam busted earlier this month, while observing that human organs were not commodities of trade.
“After careful and studied perusal of available material, it is apparent that accused (Ashutosh) voluntarily and knowingly participated in the process of transplantation of a kidney which was not donated by his real uncle but by a donor unrelated to him by impersonating himself as real uncle of the applicant,” Metropolitan Magistrate Arvind Bansal said.
The magistrate further said “the complete process of transplantation of kidney prima facie appears to be a pre- planned criminal conspiracy and the role of the accused in the said process requires comprehensive investigation.”
“It is observed that people understand and know that human organs are not commodities of trade. The legal and ethical principles associated with organ donation and transplantation must be strictly followed.
“These principles appear to have been violated in the present case and therefore Ashutosh does not deserve the benefit of judicial discretion of bail at this crucial stage of investigation. The application is accordingly declined,” the court said.
The police have so far arrested 13 persons, including some middlemen, personal assistants of senior doctors, donors, a recipient and the racket’s kingpin Rajkumar Rao, in connection with the matter.
Investigators have come across 10 transplant cases facilitated by the gang in the Apollo Hospital here. The court, while denying him bail, also observed that the police was still working to unearth “the deep rooted conspiracy in the alleged kidney racket and interrogation of accused is necessary to fulfill the said purpose.
“The aspects of forgery of documents and payment of hefty amount also require investigation and custodial interrogation of accused may be required for the same.”
Ashutosh, son of a DJB official, sought bail claiming he had been falsely implicated by police and was a victim of circumstances, adding that he was hospitalised due to post- surgery infection.
During the arguments, his counsel contended that it was after the registration of FIR that Ashutosh got to know about the alleged scam and claimed he genuinely got the kidney transplant done from the concerned hospital.
The police, while opposing his bail plea, argued that Ashutosh was an active participant in the conspiracy, leading to impersonation of accused Umesh Srivastava as his uncle during transplant of the kidney from Srivastava to him. It said he contravened the provisions of Transportation of Human Organs Act 1994 and the bail plea should be dismissed as his role along with that of his uncle and other family members was being investigated for which he was required for interrogation.
The court, while accepting the arguments of investigating officer, said “the accused allegedly prepared several false documents, signed various papers, got some false affidavits prepared, impersonated Srivastava as his real uncle and underwent a successful kidney transplant at Apollo hospital. A huge some of money to the tune of Rs 24 lakh is said to have exchanged hands during the process.
“As regards the question of infection to applicant during treatment at the hospital where he is presently admitted, the same may be avoided by shifting him to a spacious room partitioned by a curtain or some other material facilitating the presence of officials-on-guard without direct contact to the accused.”