The police on Tuesday arrested both the Chief Executive Officer and the Medical Director of Hiranandani Hospital, Powai, as well as three doctors, in connection with the kidney transplant racket that was busted at the hospital on July 14.
The accused have been identified as Sujit Chatterjee, Anurag Naik, Mukesh Shete, Mukesh Shah and Prakash Shetty. Interestingly, Dr. Naik was heading the five-member committee that the hospital had set up to probe the racket.
“Based on the report of the appropriate authority, the Powai police have arrested the five accused at 8:30 pm. They have been charged under the Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994,” Mumbai Police spokesperson DCP Ashok Dudhe said.
Police officials said investigations so far have not established any direct involvement of the accused in the racket, and that they have been booked for medical negligence. “Based on the results of their interrogation and other investigations, we may invoke additional charges against them when we file a charge sheet,” a police officer said.
A meeting of the three-member State health inquiry committee set up to probe the racket was held at the DMER office on Tuesday, chaired by Dr. Gauri Rathod, nodal officer for Maharashtra’s organ transplant programme. “They prepared the report until evening,” said Dr. Pravin Shingare, Director, Directorate of Medical Education and Research.
Dr. Rathod could not be reached for comment. Dr. Sujata Patwardhan, general secretary of Zonal Transplant Coordination Committee, said, “We are concerned only with the patient and the medical part of the case.”
Dr. Chatterjee had said that the hospital had no knowledge of the racket. When news of the racket broke, he had told The Hindu : “We are victims of a fraud. These people were seasoned criminals.”
The racket was busted when a patient was found trying to get a kidney transplant from a woman from Surat, passing her off as his wife.