MUMBAI: Five doctors of L H Hiranandani Hospital, including chief executive officer Sujit Chatterjee and medical director Anurag Naik, were arrested on Tuesday evening for alleged involvement in the kidney transplant racket+ unearthed at the trust-run facility on July 14. This may be the first time that senior doctors at a large institute in the city have been arrested for unethical medical practices.
With these arrests, the police have so far taken into custody 14 people, including a kidney failure patient and his ‘fake wife’, to date. Of these 14, six are associated with the hospital, including a medical social worker, Nilesh Kamble.
Mumbai police spokesperson DCP Ashok Dudhe said the doctors were arrested based on the state health department report that pointed to their involvement in the racket+ . “Based on the report of the state appropriate authority, the Powai police arrested the five doctors, including the CEO and the medical director, at 8.30 PM on Tuesday,” said Dudhe. However, knowledgeable sources said that the arrests follow medical social worker Kamble’s confessions to the police.
Prominent builder and founding trustee of the hospital Niranjan Hiranandani said it was a “sad day”.
The arrested doctors will be produced before the 66th Court of the Andheri Metropolitan Magistrate on Wednesday.
Police sources said that they have collected the call data records of the doctors and the racket along with the hospital transplant manager Nilesh Kamble (36) who coordinated with the racket. The racket was unearthed on July 14.
The doctors—Sujit Chaterjee (CEO), Anurag Naik (Medical Director), Mukesh Shetye, Mukesh Shah and Prakash Shetty—are kept in the Powai police station and will be produced before the court.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Law & Order) Deven Bharti confirmed TOI total five doctors.
The police arrested these doctors under 12 sections of the IPC and the Transplantation of Human Organs Act. Dudhe told TOI that the police had used TOHA sections 12 (no registered medical practitioner shall undertake the removal or transplantation of any human organ unless he has explained, in such manner as may be prescribed, all possible effects, complications and hazards connected with the removal and transplantation to the donor and the recipient respectively) and section 21 (Act has been committed by a company and it is proved that the offence has been committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the company, such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly).
It is also learnt that the police have applied the new section 19 of TOHA amended in 2014 which allows for imprisonment of up to 10 years and fine of up to Rs 1 crore for offenders.
Earlier in the day, four personnel of Hiranandani Hospital as well as its founder, well-known builder Niranjan Hiranandani, were called by the state government-appointed committee for questioning. The three-member committee had questioned seven other doctors of the hospital two weeks back and presented a prelimnary report to the state health director (who is also the appropriate authority). The preliminary report was the basis of Tuesday’s arrests, added the police.
Hiranandani told late on Tuesday that it was a “Sad day for the hospital. Hope it is over soon.”
On August 3, the Andheri court released the 42-year-old Anand woman Shobha Thakur on bail. She was the donor in the case who agreed to part her kidney to the Surat-based textile businessman Brijkishore Jaiswal (48). Thakur, whose kidney donation operation was interrupted midway by the Powai police at L H Hiranandani Hospital, Powai, the hospital staffer Nilesh Kamble, and the patient’s son Kishan Jaiswal were granted bail. The patient, Brijkishore Jaiswal (who was to get Thakur’s kidney), was to granted bail earlier.
The 66th Court Andheri, metropolitan magistrate Ashwin Lokhande on Tuesdaygranted bail after the lawyers of the three pointed out that the Powai police did not followed the TOHA (Transplant of Human Organs Act) rules which clearly said that investigators has to get the magistrate to file an FIR. Meanwhile, the investigators are awaiting the State Health Department probe report that can nail doctors, if any, found guilty of hand-in-glove with the racket.
Stay updated on the go with Times of India News App. Click here to download it for your device.