Illegal Kidney Transplant: NHRC Orders Stern Action Against Apollo Hospitals

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Bhubaneswar: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Saturday directed Odisha government to initiate stern action against Apollo Hospitals for alleged illegal transplantation of kidney.

The Commission, while rejecting the plea of Apollo Hospitals directed the chief secretary to initiate action under Section 16 of the Transplantation of Human Organs & Tissues Act, 1994 and submit the action taken report (ATR). It also directed the state government to pay a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the victim, Anil Kumar Swamy, and submit a proof of payment within six weeks, failing which, the Commission will issue a coercive process under Section 13 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993.

It may be recalled that Anil Kumar Swamy of Bargarh district had lodged a complaint against Apollo Hospitals in the Bargarh Town Police Station on January 3, 2016, for illegal transplanting of his kidney on his neighbour, Raghaba Jayaram Dora in 2013. Later, activist Akhand on January 5 in the same year, moved the NHRC, which sought a reply from the Health Secretary and the Chief Secretary.

The Commission, after getting to know about the illegal transplant from a report of the Health Department directed the Chief Secretary to cancel the registration of Apollo Hospitals and direct it to pay Rs 2 lakh as compensation to Anil.

Challenging the directive of the Commission, the hospital authorities moved the Orissa High Court. Hearing the plea, the court had stayed the NHRC order and directed Apollo Hospitals to file a counter with the NHRC. The court also directed NHRC not to execute its order till such period.

Acting on the court’s directive, Apollo Hospitals filed a counter with the Commission on September 12 this year stating that while Jayaram Dora was the original donor, the hospital authorities had mistaken Anil as the original donor.

Rejecting the plea of the hospital authorities as baseless, the Commission observed that it is beyond any stretch of imagination as to how the kidney of another person can be transplanted when the hospital authorities had taken the photo of the original donor.

Meanwhile, spokesperson of Apollo Hospitals in a statement on Saturday, said that the NHRC order/notification dated 25/11/2019 has been issued unfairly without giving it an opportunity for an oral hearing to present material evidence, which would clear the hospital of any culpability in the matter. As the order has ignored the stay and directions issued by the Orissa High Court, it will approach the higher courts for relief.

“Apollo Hospitals, Bhubaneswar has always striven to deliver the highest standards of care in an ethical and professional manner. In this issue, we have followed the due process of rule and law. We are confident of presenting the real facts related to the case during our appeal seeking quashing of the order,” the spokesperson added.

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