The Telegraph
Wednesday , July 16 , 2014
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Illegal kidney transplant finger at BJD MP

- Health minister says stringent steps in place to check racket

Bhubaneswar, July 15: A senior BJD leader was accused of having violated laws for his kidney transplant.

Congress chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati alleged in the Assembly that former minister and Rajya Sabha member A.U. Singh Deo had breached the provisions of the Organ Transplant Act during his kidney transplant.

He said that under the Act, only a relative of the recipient could donate his or her kidney. But in Singh Deo’s case, a local civic body member was the donor.

Singh Deo was not available for his response to the allegation made in the Assembly during an adjournment motion on sale of kidneys in the state. He had undergone the transplant outside India in 2013.

The Congress leader wanted the state government to make all the documents pertaining to Singh Deo’s kidney transplant public. The Assembly had taken up the issue through the adjournment motion following four complaints of sale of kidneys by poor people during the last two months.

In his reply to the motion, health minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said there was an authorisation committee in the state, headed by the director of medical education and training, to allow kidney transplant.

The committee, ever since its inception in 2002, has examined 596 applications and 554 were cleared. The remaining 42 requests were being examined.

The minister said that steps have been initiated to make the kidney transplant process more transparent in view of the allegations. The state’s authorisation committee will meet twice in a month and the proceedings will be videographed. There will be two government nominees in the committee meant for private hospitals, said the minister.

Nayak asserted that the government had received only one compliant. It relates to the kidney donation of Padmini Nayak of Cuttack and the case is being investigated. The health department had no role to play in the incidents that had taken place outside the state.

The alleged kidney sale racket surfaced when Shankar Nayak of Cuttack lodged a complaint at Mangalabag police station on May 1, alleging that his sister-in-law Padmini Nayak, who had donated her kidney to a person in Bhubaneswar, was not paid the promised amount in exchange of the organ.

The surgery was done in a Bhubaneswar hospital. He accused that one Sarmistha Nayak of Cuttack had promised to pay Padmini Rs 2.5 lakh for the organ. However, she was paid only Rs 50,000.

In the second case, Namita Nayak of Cuttack alleged that she was lured by Sarmishtha to donate her kidney.

The surgery was performed in Visakhapatnam at a private hospital. Forged documents were produced to substantiate that Namita was a relative of the recipient.

On Saturday, the police registered another case following a complaint from 30-year-old Bulu Behera that his employer had taken him to Calcutta in 2013 and his kidney was removed at a hospital in Bengal.

The Opposition parties today accused the state government of failing to check the racket. They said that poor and innocent people were being exploited due to lack of vigilance by the state.