Kidney Transplant Scam: JJ staffer who took bribes to clear files worked on 550 cases
The tainted J J Hospital staffer, arrested for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 80,000 for clearing the file of a kidney transplant patient, had processed over 500 such files since 2017, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) told court on Thursday.
On Monday, the ACB arrested has Tushar Savarkar (34), a social service superintendent at government-run J J Hospital and Sachin Salve (32), a coordinator at SL Raheja – private hospital.
They were produced before Additional Sessions Judge Dinesh Deshmukh on Thursday after their police (ACB) custody ended. The judge extended their police custody till October 6.
Savarkar was responsible for arranging meetings and getting approved the file of a person needing kidney transplant from the Organ Transplant Committee at J J hospital, special public prosecutor Sunil Gonsalves said.
“Savarkar joined the hospital in 2017 and had cleared 550 such files since then. We need to probe if he had taken bribes earlier,” Gonsalves said.
One person had come forward claiming that he had paid Rs 10,000 for clearance of his file, the prosecutor said, adding that the ACB also wants to probe whether any member of the organ transplant committee was involved.
Savarkar and Salve allegedly demanded Rs 1.50 lakh from the family of Jamaluddin Amir-ullah Khan who needed a kidney transplant. Later they allegedly settled for Rs 80,000.
The patient was admitted to the private hospital in Mahim, and the wife of his brother-in-law was ready to donate a kidney to him, but the committee’s approval was awaited.
To get the approval, Salve sent the file to Savarkar for processing. Savarkar allegedly asked the family for bribe.
After the family approached the ACB, a trap was laid and Savarkar and Salve were arrested.
Meanwhile, Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) has suspended the committee tasked with approving all live organ transplants in the state.
“We have suspended the transplant committee which approves the transplants at JJ Hospital. Till date, this committee has approved all live organ transplants in Maharashtra, including those performed at private hospitals.” Dr. Praveen Shingare from DMER was quoted as saying.
Dr. Shingare also confirmed that they had given kidney transplant approval to Jamaluddin
As part of the investigation, the bureau will also probe if these cases are linked to the kidney transplant racket unearthed at Powai’s L H Hiranandani Hospital in 2016. A total of 14 people, including five doctors, were arrested in the case.