Kathmandu, November 5
Anti-Human Trafficking Bureau of Nepal Police submitted investigation report on ‘illegal’ kidney transplant by Nidan Hospital to the District Attorney Office, Lalitpur, today. The DAO is set to file the charge-sheet at Lalitpur District Court tomorrow.
Police had arrested five persons including Bipendra Pradhan, CEO of Pulchowk-based Nidan Hospital, in the second week of October.
The arrest was made after the person, whose kidney was removed for illegal transplant, filed an FIR against nine persons involved in the act, a few months after the transplant.
Out of the nine accused, police have been able to arrest five persons while the remaining four are still at large. Four persons who are absconding are related to the kidney receiver Shankar Lal Lama.
Those arrested were hospital’s Legal Officer Kumud Kumar Bhattarai, General Physician Rajesh Panta, Section Officer of Lalitpur District Office Ram Chandra Ale and the kidney recipient Lama. Except the kidney recipient Lama, all others arrested were members of the Kidney Transplantat Approval Committee formed by the hospital. Human organ transplantation law requires an independent approval committee that verifies if the donor is legally appropriate and medically fit to donate one’s kidney to the recipient or not. Kidney receiver Lama, 56, of Doramba, Ramechhap, was supposed to legally receive a kidney from his nephew, Sanjeev Ghising, on August 8. But on the day of the transplantation the family of the patient ‘with the support of the hospital’ produced a different person with forged documents replacing Ghising to donate kidney. The man had his photo pasted on the kidney transplantation document issued for Sanjeev Ghising.
Police said the man was lured by the patient’s family to donate his kidney for Rs 300,000.
Police have been saying that the hospital knowingly transplanted the kidney of wrong person to the patient ignoring objection by one of the nurses to the illegal transplant.
Police during their investigation said they had recorded statement of over 20 staffers of the hospital, including doctors, nurses, administration officers and helpers who were associated with the kidney transplantation procedure.
Police have, however, not made any arrest or filed any charges against additional hospital staffers in connection with the transplant.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Raj Kumar Silwal said they did not find sufficient evidence against the hospital staff to arrest them right away.
“We can arrest anyone if require them for further investigation,” DSP Silwal said.
Statement of all the 20 doctors and staffers of the hospital recorded by the police will be submitted to the court.
The kidney transplant was conducted by Dr Pukar Shrestha.
Senior Superintendent of Police Govinda Thapaliya said all the accused will be charged under Human Trafficking and Transportation (Control) Act- 2007. According to Section 15 (c) of the act, any person involved in illegal extraction of human organ shall be liable to imprisonment for 10 years and a fine ranging from Rs 250,000 to Rs 500,000.
Mona Singh, Lalitpur District Attorney, said the office was preparing charge-sheet against all the accused and would present them before LDC tomorrow.
A version of this article appears in print on November 06, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.