Rasilaben Kataria, a resident of Bhavnagar in Gujarat, underwent a kidney transplant at LH Hiranandani Hospital, Powai, in April.
While the documents with the hospital show her sister, Harshaben Kevadia, as the donor, the actual donor, according to the directorate of health services (DHS), is the wife of Yusuf Shah Diwan, one of the accused in the kidney transplant case involving Brijkishore Jaiswal, which unearthed the kidney racket in the hospital.
According to the documents submitted to the DHS, accessed by HT, Kevadia had given a blood sample and signed on the donor’s form, but the photograph pasted on the transplant documents was that of an unidentified woman who was presented as Kataria’s biological sister.
“I did not donate my kidney to my sister. I gave my blood samples at a Charni Road-based hospital for her transplant surgery,” Kevadia told Hindustan Times.
The directorate is investigating four transplant cases, including Kataria’s.
On July 14, officers from the Powai police station were tipped off about the case involving Jaiswal, where an Anand resident was made to pose as the wife of the recipient using forged documents.
The DHS are investigating four transplant cases, including Kataria’s, and have said there are illegalities in the Kataria case too. They have asked the Mumbai police to question the donor and recipients. “The discrepancies in the papers hint towards illegalities,” said a DHS official.
Even as police officials are yet to find Kevadia based on the address provided in documents produced before the transplant, HT found her at Keshav Kunj apartments in Virar, where she stays with her son and husband. The family, originally from Surat, moved to Mumbai seven years ago and has been staying in rented flats since then. Although Kevadia has read reports about the illegal kidney transplant scam and arrests of doctors, she said she said she was unaware of what had happened in the case relating to her sister’s transplant surgery.
“I went to the hospital (L H Hiranandani Hospital) twice and once to a Charni road-based hospital to give my blood samples,” said Kevadia. She could not recognise the photograph of the woman mentioned as the sister and donor on Kataria’s transplant documents. “My sister wasn’t doing very well after the surgery; she was discharged after a week. When the family was on their way to airport to go back to their Bhavnagar residence, she collapsed and was later pronounced dead,” said Kevadia.
The address that was mentioned on the hospital’s documents (104/A Ashwin Apartment, Rashmi Nagar, Virar) was Kevadia’s previous address. Neighbours said the family shifted from the rented apartment more than a year ago.
When HT showed her the photographs of the five doctors arrested from L H Hiranandani Hospital, she pointed out to one doctor but refused to comment any further. “I don’t clearly remember what happened. Only a few days later we got to know about the death of my younger sister (Kataria). She has two little children,” said Kevadia.
She also said that the Katarias don’t reside at Khira Bhavan, SVP Road –the address mentioned on the documents furnished with the hospital. “She was being treated at Hiranandani hospital for kidney issues, that’s what I know,” said Kevadia.
Kataria’s statement recorded on a notarissed document states she was suffering from chronic renal disease for three years and was being treated under Dr Mukesh Shete. “I am on dialysis for the past six months, three per week and treating doctor, (Dr Shete) had adviced me to undergo kidney transplant which may prolong and improve the quality of my life,” Kataria had stated in the document.