A Mumbai court on Friday rejected the anticipatory bail plea of two doctors in connection with the case of alleged kidney transplant racket at Hiranandani hospital. Doctors Suvin Shetty and Veena Swelikar had moved the sessions court seeking pre-arrest bail on Thursday.
Both had claimed that they followed the rules while screening the donor and the recipient before kidney transplant procedure. Operation on Brijkishor Jaiswal, the recipient, was stopped at the last moment after police found that the woman, who was donating him the kidney was not his real wife, contrary to the papers submitted by the duo.
Police later arrested hospital CEO Sujit Chatterjee, medical director Anurag Naik, Mukesh Shete, Mukesh Shaha, and Prakash Shete on 9 August, under the Transplantation of Human Organs Act on the basis of a report by the director of State Health Services Department.
Meanwhile, nephrologists across the state have decided to stop conducting kidney transplants until the release of Shete, reported The Indian Express. Shrirang Bichu, a nephrologist with the Bombay Hospital, was quoted by The Indian Express as saying, "We will only conduct scheduled surgeries. After that, no nephrologist is going to participate in kidney transplants."
Doctors associated with the Mumbai Nephrologist Group demanded that they should not be given the responsibility of verifying documents as they are not experts in identifying forgery. They also claimed that arresting doctors without enough evidence puts them at risk. The report added that members of the Mumbai Urology Society will also discuss their future course of action to safeguard their interests.
This decision of the urologists and nephrologists is likely to affect patients suffering from chronic renal failures. When the resident doctors of Delhi had gone on strike in June 2015, the AAP-led Delhi government decided to impose Essential Services Maintenance Act (Esma) to end the strike so that patients don't suffer.
"Emergency services have been affected due to the strike and so the government has imposed Esma. Patients in the hospitals cannot be left to die,” Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain had said. However, in this case it might be premature to consider invoking the Esma.
Giving details about the about the investigations, police said that the arrested doctors were also attached with other hospitals in Mumbai and that they wanted to probe if the racket is run in other hospitals as well.
Police also wanted to find out if there was any exchange of money among the doctors, agents and the donors in alleged illegal transplant of kidneys. They are studying the Call Detail Record (CDR) of the doctors and the racketeers arrested earlier.
"After studying the (Director of State Health Services) report we arrested them. They (the doctors) are accused of negligence for not verifying the documents and not following the protocol involved in transplantation," police spokesperson DCP Ashok Dudhe said.
With inputs from agencies