Government plans organ bank to stop illegal trade

March 4th, 2008 - 3:45 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 4 (IANS) The government Tuesday said it was planning to set up an organ bank on the lines of eye banks to stop the illegal transplant of body parts, like the recent unmasking of the kidney racket that spanned several continents. The health ministry was considering setting up an organ bank for use when someone needs a transplant, Home Minister Shivraj Patil said in the Lok Sabha.

He was replying to a question by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Maneka Gandhi, who said the kidney racket unearthed in Gurgaon on the outskirts of Delhi and allegedly masterminded by Amit Kumar who is now in the custody of the Central Bureau of Investigation was the “tip of the iceberg”.

She said the government should set up such banks where people who want to sell their organs could do so as is the practice in Europe and the US. “It is clean professional work.”

“Why can’t we book those who are found involved in organ rackets under attempted murder,” Gandhi asked.

To this query, Patil said: “If it can be done it will be done. If it can’t be we are helpless.”

The kidney transplant racket, which served clients from Britain, the US, Greece, Lebanon, Canada, Saudi Arabia and Dubai, was busted by the police forces of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh Jan 24.

Amit Kumar was nabbed from a hotel in Nepal near the India border on Feb 8. It is alleged that he along with some doctors beguiled more than 600 poor people into parting with their kidneys and which were sold nationally and internationally.

Several other MPs also raised the matter in the Lok Sabha.

Giving details about the investigations, Patil said a high-level probe was on and stringent punishment would be given to those found guilty.

“The case is with the CBI and they will complete it as early as possible.”

He, however, agreed that the law needed to be strengthened.

To another question about the whereabouts of the culprits, the home minister said: “We cannot reveal where they are kept. But yes their links are spread to other countries.”

When Patil was asked whether the government could attach the properties of the accused so that victims could be given compensation from its sale, the home minister said: “There are some compulsions in the law”.

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