Two days after Hindustan Times exposed another alleged illegal kidney transplant at Dr LH Hiranandani hospital, the Directorate of Health Services (DHS), taking cognisance of the report, has started investigating if the surgery took place without checking organ compatibility.
In an exclusive interview, Harshaben Kevadia, sister of the recipient Rasilaben Kataria, had said she had given her blood samples, but had not donated her kidney.
DHS officials said they had asked the Mumbai police to question the actual donor in the case and if proven guilty, file a case under section 304 A of the Indian Penal Code (death by negligence). “We are sure that the blood samples were switched to match the HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) reports. However, since the recipient has died of renal complications, organ rejection could be one of the major causes. If proven guilty, the responsible parties will be booked,” said the official.
DHS will also send notices to HLA testing laboratories named by Kevadia in the HT report because the same names have cropped up during past investigations. "Some popular testing laboratories are involved and we are going to investigate the coordinating parties," added the official.
When HT contacted Dr LH Hiranandani Hospital, authorities refused to comment.
However, deputy commissioner of police Vinayak Deshmukh (Zone X) said, “We have not yet received any application regarding the matter. Once we receive an application we will investigate.”
The case of Kevadia and Kataria, two sisters, is one of the four cases under DHS’s investigation. The documents with the hospital show Kevadia as the donor. But the real donor, according to DHS, is the wife of Yusuf Shah Diwan, one of the accused in the kidney transplant case involving Brijkishore Jaiswal, from an earlier scam that unearthed the racket.
Diwan, originally from Bhind, Gujarat, is the seventh accused to be arrested in the case and was produced in the magistrate court in Andheri last Tuesday. Sources said his statement mentioned that his wife donated a kidney to an unknown woman and the surgery took place at LH Hiranandani Hospital. Later, he turned an agent and introduced Shobha Thakur to alleged racket mastermind Bijendra Bhisen.
According to documents submitted to the DHS, 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. Kataria died three months after the surgery owing to renal complications