A Mumbai Sessions Court last month hearing an appeal, has ordered the case in a kidney transplant racket to proceed with the inclusion of Dr P Ravichandran, a nephrologist who was discharged in 2011.
Ravichandran, a Chennai-based doctor, was discharged by a Magistrate court on October 15, 2011 despite charges of 120(B) (Conspiracy), 342 (wrongful confinement), 420 (Cheating), 465 (forgery), 468 (Forgery for purpose of cheating), 471(Using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), 506 (criminal intimidation) with 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of Indian Penal Code and various sections of Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994, against him.
A petition was filed by the Crime Branch before the Sessions Court on the grounds that the order passed by Magistrate court is bad in law, it has failed to take into account the forgery, cheating and conspiracy of Ravichandran, and it has lost sight of the documents seized from hospital authorities about his involvement. The grounds also mention the court had not taken into consideration that Ravichandran had accepted Rs 2 lakh and Rs 20 lakh from a kidney recipient’s husband, Natubhai Soni, and distributed the money among other accused – there are six accused besides him. The court had not taken into consideration that Ravichandran played a major role and he was involved in the removal of human organs without authority for commercial dealing. It also failed to consider that there is a chain of accused persons.
The prosecution while arguing had put forth all the documentary evidence and witness statements recorded by the investigating officer, which included an official from the hospital where the kidney transplants took place.
Judge S V Ranpise, while passing the order observed, “I hold that there is manifest error on the point of law committed by the lower court which has consequently resulted in flagrant miscarriage of justice.”
Promised Rs 4 lakh, given only Rs 25k
A kidney donor, Jeetu Borkar, had lodged an FIR on October 3, 2007, saying that he had been cheated of money for his kidney. He claimed an accused in the case, Hanif, used to come to his work place to meet his colleague and got to know him (Borkar). It was about three months before the FIR that Hanif came to Borkar and proposed that if he sold his kidney, he would be paid an amount of Rs 4 lakh.
Initially Borkar refused but on August 1 and 2, 2007 Hanif again approached Borkar, convincing him to donate his kidney for Rs 4 lakh. Since Borkar’s financial condition was weak and he was in need of money, he agreed to sell his kidney.
Later, he was taken to Chennai and Hanif introduced him to the proposed kidney receiver, Rekha and her husband. The next day Borkar was taken to the hospital of Ravichandran and sent to St. Thomas Hospital.
On August 8, 2007, Borkar and Rekha were taken to BR hospital where his left kidney was removed and transplanted into her.
Later Borkar only received R25,000. He then filed a complaint at V P Road police station. The case was later transferred to Crime Branch.