Sunil Koul, one of the alleged kidney recipients who had undergone a transplant surgery at the National Kidney Hospital, recorded his statement before investigation officials on Saturday following the orders of the Punjab and Haryana high court to join the probe on November 19.
Koul and his wife Chandra Koul, residents of Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh, arrived in an ambulance at the police station-7 where additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP-I) J Elanchezhian and station house officer (SHO) Navdeep Singh recorded their statements.
The officials questioned Koul in the ambulance while his wife was quizzed at the police station for nearly four hours.
The two were booked for having committed the offences punishable under sections 420, 465, 467, 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sections 18, 19 and 20 of the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act, 1994.
The officials claimed to have collected vital clues about a middleman who reportedly introduced the couple to the racket kingpin, Junaid Ahmed Khan, when Koul was undergoing dialyses at Fortis Hospital, Kangra, in Himachal Pradesh.
In his statement to officials, Koul said when he was on dialysis, a man told him about Khan and the National Kidney Hospital, saying that he would arrange a donor for him. The man had also given contact number of Khan to the couple.
“We arrived here and met Junaid who took `5 lakh commission and he prepared documents for the surgery after arranging a donor, Umar Raja Khan, who was shown as Govinda as his son,” said the couple, adding they did not meet Khan after transplant.
Sunil informed that Govinda is his son who works as a software engineer with Infosys in Chennai and he accompanied them in the hospital.
The officials asked couple to bring Govinda to join questioning so that his statement could be recorded. Earlier, they showed reluctance but after the officials warned them of issuing warrant on his name, the couple agreed for the same within a week.
Govinda has already been named in the case by the city police
The owners of National Kidney Hospital — Dr Rajesh Aggarwal and his wife Deepa Aggarwal who are on the run — had challenged Punjab police’s move to investigate the case under the Transplantation of Human Organs (TOHO) Act, 1994. In the HC, they contended that they had no role in illegal kidney transplant racket apart from running the hospital and performing kidney transplant surgeries. The next date of hearing has been fixed on December 22.
July 31: Junaid Ahmed Khan, linked with Jalandhar’s National Kidney Hospital; Kuldeep Kumar of Faridabad in Haryana; and Vardaan Chander Rao of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh are arrested for running a kidney racket
August 1: Laboratory assistant Harwinder is caught
August 11: Hospital coordinator Sadhna surrenders
August 14: Sadhna is sent to jail.
August 31: Dr Aggarwal and his wife booked by police
September 3: Court dismissed bail applications of couple
October 19, Junaid, Saboor Ahmed Khan, Sadhana, alias Neena Rani, and Harwinder were given bail. Vardaan Chandar Rao had got bail from the court a day before the week.