New Delhi, The Supreme Court on Friday sought a response from the Centre on a plea seeking CBI or SIT probe into complaints of “large-scale” and “well organized” kidney transplant scam involving large corporate hospitals in various states.
A bench of Justices S A Bobde and B R Gavai also issued a notice to the Union ministries of law and justice, health and family welfare, and women and child development on the plea of a 23-month-old disabled baby who has approached the court through his mother Sapna Jain.
The minor boy is suffering from West Syndrome which had rendered him physically and mentally disabled due to a brain injury at the time of his birth at a private hospital here.
The top court also sought a response from states, including Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, on the PIL which also said that the probe is monitored by a committee comprising one or more former judges or senior advocates.
The probe should also examine the cause of a rising trend of commercialization among corporate hospitals and to make recommendations on the ways to curb it.
The plea has also sought a direction to the Centre and three states to undertake a campaign for the underprivileged people to create awareness among them regarding the menace of organ trade, and to acquaint them with their rights and remedies in this regard.
The plea, which mentioned media reports of kidney trafficking, said that a large number of poor and vulnerable citizens were being frequently “coerced, forced and compelled” to sell their kidneys, and the Centre and the states have not taken any preventive measures to stop this fraud.
The plea alleged that this trafficking involved some medical practitioners, who were the “black sheep” of the medical industry and were destructive of humanity, law and the entire medical fraternity.
“It is unfortunate that some of the private hospitals would allow the human body to be used as a spare-part carrier for their commercial gains, which is inherently pernicious and is subversive of morals. This form of trafficking not only subjects victims to severe forms of physical torture but can even lead to death,” the petition said.
It said that unlike other crimes, organ trafficking was not possible without the participation of a surgeon and hospital administration and that there was an immediate need to pierce the “corporate veil” of these hospitals to prosecute and punish the financial beneficiaries of trafficking.
“The principal reason as to why this organ trafficking is growing unfettered and unabated is because only the so-called coordinator and touts who are only the pawns in this trade are being arrested by the police as an eyewash while the kingpins, who are rich and influential entities running these corporate hospitals, remain untouched,” the plea said.