-Pawan Kumar Bansal||
Gurgaon, In a significant judgement , Haryana Information Commission has held that Gurgaon based country,s leading private hospitals Medicity owned by Naresh Trehan and Artemis Hospital are public authorities under R.T.I.Act and have to disclose the information regarding organ transplantation done by them. R.T.I. activists and others concerned about racket in organ trans plantations going on in the country are jubilant over the decision as they feel it will bring transparency in the functioning of the hospitals .Both the Hospitals have started providing information.
Recalled that a massive racket of organ transplantation is going on in the country.Gurgaon kidney racket has hit international media headlines and the Commission has also referred to it
Commission has noted that it is important to keep in mind that Organ Transplantation is a subject which must be dealt with great sensitivity adding that although advances of medical sciences have enables the transplantation of organs with increasing success, but it is also a matte of common knowledge that there is a rampant under the table trafficking of vital organs.The trade takes place in the black market mostly with middlemen negotiating transactions between sellers and buyers.Handsome monetary gains allure persons who are poor are jobless, with almost no assets of goods, to sell parts of their bodies. Commission has noted that Gurgaon kidney scandal is too recent to be erased from the public memory. The multimillionaire scandal has shocked the nation and has put question mark over the trade, hence the transparency was the need of hour.Comission has noted that no other field of medical science has raised so many ethical , moral, legal and social issues as has organ transplantation. Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act,1994 was enacted to provide for the regulation of removal, storage and transplantation of human organs and tissues for therapeutic purposes and for the prevention of commercial dealings in human organs and tissues Expressing concern , Commission has further noted that despite having put into place a regulatory mechanism for transplantation of human organs, there has been a spate of reports in print and electronic media about thriving human organ trade in India and consequential exploitation in civil society that the Act has not been effective in curbing commercial transactions in organ transplantation and that it has thwarted genuine cases due to complicated and long drawn process of organ donation So the Act was amended and authorization committees were formed by the State Governments from time to time for granting approval and rejection of the applications by the donor and the recipient seeking approval for removal and transplantation of the human organ.
Harinder Dhingra has sought information from these Hospitals regarding fee being charged from patients, donors and done es since their inception in case of organ transplantation He has further sought information that under which rule the record was destroyed
Judgement delivered recently by bench of Urvashi Gulati and Yoginder Paul Gupta has fur her asked both the Hospitals for making voluntary disclosures of the information on above subject so that citizens can be enlightened as to how the provided services can be availed to save the life of human beings.
Both the Hospitals have taken the pleas that Hospital based Authorization Committees constituted by the Govt.for deciding the cases of organ transplantation are not public authorities and the provisions of the RTI Act, are not applicable to them.But the Commission concluded that Hospital based Authorization Committees at both the hospitals have been created by notification issued by the appropriate Govt. and thus fall within the definition of Public authority in terms of Sections 2(H) (D) of the Act.There is no justification in not appointing S.P.I.O for discharging responsibility and to fulfill the aims and objects of the RTI Act as in absence of S.P.I.O public is unable to submit request under the Act.