Mumbai kidney racket: Five get judicial custody till August 26

Mumbai, Aug 13 (IANS) A court on Saturday sent five doctors, including the CEO of L.H. Hirandanani Hospital, to judicial custody till August 26 in an illegal kidney sale and transplant racket here.

The five — the hospital’s CEO Sujit Chatterjee, Medical Director Anurag Naik, Prakash Shetty, Mukesh Shah and Mukesh Shetye — were produced before the court after their three-day police custody ended on Saturday.

Public Prosecutor Sudhir Sapkal told the court that the police investigation were complete and they did not require the custody of the accused for further investigation.

Accordingly, the magistrate ordered the five accused — arrested on August 9 — to be remanded in judicial custody till August 26.

Police said they had scrutinised the bank account details and call records of the accused-arrested medicos and were trying to probe how long they had been in contact with each other and with another accused, Brijkishore Jaiswal, the Surat businessman who was the intended recipient of a kidney transplant last month.

Seeking bail for one of the accused, Prakash Shetty, his lawyer Abad Ponda said it must be granted immediately as his wife had delivered twins on Saturday morning and produced a certificate to the effect.

The court declined to take up the bail plea and directed the lawyer to move it on a regular hearing day and asked police to be prepared with its reply on August 16.

Earlier on Friday, the Dindoshi Sessions Court rejected the anticipatory bail application of two other medicos from the L.H. Hiranandani Hospital — Suwin Shetty and Veena Salekar.

Police, who are probing more suspicious transplants pertaining to the case, have already hinted that more arrests from the hospital were likely.

Stunned by the revelations, the Hiranandani Hospital on Thursday appointed an external firm Ernst & Young to audit all kidney transplant cases carried out in the hospital in the past one year.

The lid was blown off the racket on July 14 when social worker Suresh Gupta, some political activists and members of a trade union stopped a kidney transplant operation midway since the donor and the recipient were allegedly found to be a fake couple — ‘husband’ Brijkishore Jaiswal and ‘wife’ Shobha Thakur.

Since then, a total of 14 persons have been arrested in connection with the racket at the reputed 12-year-old suburban private hospital with 240 beds.

Following the expose, the Maharashtra Directorate of Health Services set up a committee of medical experts, which found irregularities related to at least four kidney transplant cases.

Based on the committee’s report, the police arrested the five medicos, sending shockwaves in the medical fraternity.

–IANS

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