JJ organ transplant arrests
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) yesterday told court that JJ Hospital staffer and social worker at the state-run hospital's organ transplant committee, Tushar Savarkar, whom they had arrested on Monday had handled 550 files since he took his position in the committee in 2017.
The agency informed the court that Savarkar and another accused Sachin Salve, who had been arrested along with Savarkar and worked as organ transplant co-ordinator in Mahim's SL Raheja Hospital had been in touch since the past two years.
Seeking that their police custody be extended by another 10 days, Special Public Prosecutor, Sunil Gonsalves, told the court that the agency needs to find out that from the 550 files that they had to go regarding Savarkar, from how many of these parties he had taken bribe.
Gonsalves also emphasized that the 1.5 lakh that was demanded would not be only for himself and that the agency has to find who else from the organ transplant committee was involved.
The court was also read out the transcript of the voice samples that the agency had recovered, that showed the demand of the bribe amount.
Savarkar and Salve had been arrested after the ACB laid a trap and found them accepting the Rs 80,000 that was agreed upon after the complainant informed the agency about the demand.
Advocate for Savarkar argued against further police custody saying that the authorisation committee meeting that the donor had attended was shot live and shows the donor crying. He further demanded that a narco test be conducted on the donor to find out the truth, implying that there was pressure on the woman to agree for the kidney transplant.
The donor was a distant relative of the patient Jamaluddin Khan and had agreed to donate her kidney to Khan, of whom both kidneys had failed and he was put on dialysis. Khan, 42, a welder by profession was suffering from a polycystic kidney disease, a genetic disease for the past four years. Due to his condition, he had been forced to sell vegetables. Unfortunately, Khan's family was also suffering from kidney problems and thus unable to donate him their kidney.
According to state government rules, a clearance is required for anyone other than a blood relative to donate a kidney to a patient. This is where Savarkar, a Class III employee, came into the picture. He was required to check documents before sending them to the hospital superintendent and had allegedly, through Salve, who was a co-ordinator at SL Raheja Hospital, demanded a 1.5 lakh bribe to give the chairman of the organ transplant authorisation committee to secure them a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) to be given to Raheja Hospital to conduct the organ transplant. On September 18, the complainant had attended an authorisation committee meeting but had not been granted an NOC.
The court extended the custody of the duo for till October 6.