In a major thrust to the investigation into the kidney racket busted at LH Hiranandani Hospital last month, five senior doctors, including its CEO Dr Sujit Chatterjee, have been arrested.
The arrests came on Tuesday, the day it was reported about four suspect transplant cases in addition to the one that blew the lid off the illegal transplants at the Powai facility.
The Powai police, which is probing 31 transplants that took place in the hospital in the past one year, earlier shared the paperwork related to the transplants with the Directorate of Health Services under the state government to check for discrepancies. A probe committee under the authority found the documents related to the four transplants was irregular, and it submitted a report on the cases to the state government, which shared it with the police on Tuesday. Based on the report, the Powai police nabbed the five doctors.
Dr Chatterjee, CEO of the hospital, and Dr Anurag Naik, its medical director, are among those arrested on Tuesday. The others are Prakash Shetty, Mukesh Shah and Mukesh Shete.
While in three of the four cases, the documents submitted by donors and recipients were anomalous, in the fourth case, there were variations in the statements of the donor and relative.
The inquiry committee’s report points out that the transplant coordinators disregarded protocol to push the files forward: the CEO allegedly never communicated with the transplant team; and the agents liaising for the transplants had uninhibited access to the hospital, they could come and go as they pleased.
On July 14, a social worker had stopped a transplant procedure at Hiranandani Hospital in which the donor and the recipient had posed as husband and wife. Subsequent investigations identified the agent who had created the fake documents for the donor and the recipient as Brijendra Bisen, who was arrested in 2007 in connection with one of the biggest organ transplant racket in the country.
Earlier, eight people were arrested in the racket, including Bisen, the recipient Brijkishore Jaiswal, the donor Shobha Thakur, Jaiswal’s son Nilesh, and Hiranandani hospital’s transplant coordinator Nilesh Kamble.