A month after the city police claimed to have busted a kidney racket being run from the National Kidney Hospital, Jalandhar, the special investigation team (SIT) on Monday booked the owner couple of the city-based healthcare facility.
The hospital owners - Dr Rajesh Aggarwal and his wife Deepa Aggarwal who are residents of Chhotti Baradari locality in the city, were booked under sections 18, 19 and 20 of the Human Organs Transplantation (Amendment) Act, 1994 after serious violations were found as per norms.
The SIT on Monday questioned the couple for about eight hours at police station-7. The SIT comprises additional deputy commissioner of police (investigations) J Elanchezhian, ADCP (headquarters) Alka Meena, ADCP-II Amrik Singh Powar and SHO Navdeep Singh.
The two were allowed to leave the police station as a local court has already directed the police on August 11 that it should first issue a notice to them, three days before they want to arrest them.
The police had summoned them on Saturday with records to corroborate them with a report of the directorate of medical education and research (DMER) that has arrived on August 28. The of DMER, which is the competent authority to sanction hospitals to conduct kidney transplant surgeries in Punjab, has also confirmed serious procedural lapses in seven transplant surgeries that are under scanner.
ADCP Alka Meena, when contacted, said lapses have been detected in the seven transplant surgeries such as missing signatures of the competent authority.
Earlier, doctors had claimed that Sadhna was authorised to check all papers before a surgery but it has been found during the investigation that Deepa was also authorised for the same. The police are investigating other routine transplant surgeries besides the ones already under the scanner, Meena said,adding that the police have issued notices to the couple and they would be arrested after three days as per the court orders.
About the possibility of the hospital being sealed in the wake of the scam, she said investigations are on and the role of the management is being probed and action will be taken accordingly.
Deputy inspector general of police (investigations) Nilabh Kishore has started investigations and gone through the records submitted by the city police to him last week. It was after his directions that the police came into action and summoned the owner couple. On July 31, Junaid Ahmed Khan, Vardan Chandar, Kuldeep and Saboor from were arrested the Baaz Celebration Hotel for their involvement in the kidney racket. On August 1, Harwinder Singh, a helper at Sunder Labs, was arrested. Harwinder allegedly used to change blood samples to match the DNA sample reports of donors and recipients.
The laboratory, located on Garha Road in the city, is a collection centre of the Dr Lal Path Lab and is owned by Deepa Aggarwal.
Hospital coordinator Sadhna had surrendered on August 11 and accused doctors of threatening her not to give a statement against him.