The Andheri court on Thursday granted bail to five doctors of Dr LH Hiranandani in the illegal kidney transplant case. The defence counsel had argued that the doctors are “languishing in prison” for “some minor offence of not filling forms properly” and that it is “not a serious offence”. The magistrate’s court granted bail to the five doctors for a surety of Rs30,000 each.
Defence advocate Abad Ponda argued, “The main accused is out on bail. Some of these accused are not heavily involved in the case. The police have already submitted that the doctors did not gain any financial benefit.”
Hospital CEO Dr Sujit Chatterjee, medical director Dr. Anurag Naik and doctors Mukesh Madhukar Shette and Mukesh Shah, and Prakashchandra Shette, were arrested on August 9. They were held under the Transplantation of Human Organs Act following a report by the Director of State Health Services (DHS) which had named all of them in its inquiry report.
Advocate Pranav Badheka told the court, “None of these forms (forged documents) would lead to violations of grave offence. The section of The Transplantation of Human Organs Act is not a serious offence; it is punishable by only seven years.”
The advocates submitted that the accused are all working doctors are residents of Mumbai adding that and there is no question of fleeing the city. The advocates said there are no threats to any of the witnesses either.
Opposing the bail, public prosecutor Sudhir Sapkale argued that two of the doctors have filed for an anticipatory bail, which was rejected by the Dindoshi sessions court on August 12. Countering defense arguments that these two doctors are not accused, Sapkale informed the court that there is an ongoing inquiry in the case.
Ponda requested the court to hear the plea on humanitarian grounds as Dr Shette’s wife has delivered twins. “The couple is blessed with the babies after 17 years. His wife is over 125 kg and his case should be heard on humanitarian grounds,” he had said.
Badheka said that the main culprits misled the committee, and the doctors are in no way responsible in the document forgery.
As per the advocates’ submission, the doctors have regular patients and “some are nearly on their death bed. Their custody in jail does not serve any purpose either to society or public at large.
The doctors, their advocates said, have done respectable work for the society.