A magisterial court on Friday sent five doctors, including the CEO of the Hiranandani Hospital in Powai, to judicial custody till August 26.
The court, however, has granted all five of them the liberty to apply for bail on August 16. The CEO of the hospital Dr Sujit Chatterjee and doctors Anurag Naik, Mukesh Madhukar Shette, Mukesh Shah, and Prakashchandra Shetty, were arrested earlier this week under the Transplantation of Human Organs Act following a report by the Director of State Health Services (DHS) that had named all of them in its inquiry report.
The police had the custody of all the five doctors for the last three days and on Friday, it did not seek any extension of remand and thus, they were sent to judicial custody by the magistrate OR Deshpande.
The counsel for Dr Mukesh Shette and Mukesh Shah, however, pleaded the magistrate to refrain from sending the accused to jail and sought that they be allowed to apply for bail immediately.
Shette’s counsel Abad Ponda argued that the accused were not “hardened criminals,” and thus, should not be sent to the “dungeons.”
Ponda pleaded for “mercy” saying that the court must consider Mukesh Shette’s plea against the judicial custody on “humanitarian grounds” since his “wife had just delivered twins.”
He also produced a ‘doctors certificate’ stating that his wife was indeed in the hospital and that her “situation was critical.”
But the magistrate questioned the veracity of the certificate to which Ponda said that “not all doctors’ certificates will be forged.”
Observing that the advocate would not relent, the magistrate said that “the more explanations Ponda gave to him the more he doubted his submissions.”
While Shette worked as a consultant nephrologist for Hiranandani Hospital, Naik was the medical director, Shah and Shetty worked as urologists at the hospital.
So far, 15 people have been arrested since the illegal organ transplant racket was busted at the hospital last month.
A three-member committee of the DHS had named all the five doctors in its inquiry report and recommended that they be suspended.