The Kerala High Court recently remarked that the Authorization Committee and Police in case of organ donation, should always try to help the patient on the death bed, rather than to find out some technicalities and unsupported suspicions to reach to conclusions. The bench also noted that the Authorization Committee’s duty is divine while considering such application, therefore it must hold an enquiry independently. It should also satisfy itself that the applicants have complied with all the requirements of the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act, 1994 and Rules made thereunder.

In the pertinent matter, the District Level Authorization Committee for Transplantation Of Human Organs in its impugned order rejected the application of the patient (also the petitioner) suffering from a kidney ailment, based on a police verification report, which raised suspicion over the donor’s intention behind donating his organ.

Noting the factual matrix, a bench of Justice P.V. Kunhikrishnan was of the opinion that a Police verification is conducted only to rule out that, there is no commercialization of the organ donation and transplantation. Further that based upon the verification reports, a mere mechanical order shall not be passed by the authorisation committee. “A man is in the death bed. He is hoping that he will get a life from another person. The Authorization Committee and Police shall always try to help the man in the death bed rather than to find out some technicalities and unsupported suspicions to conclude that there is commercial transaction or money transaction”.

It is also to be noted that the Court did note that ordinarily the court wouldn’t have entertained the petition considering that alternative remedy did exist with the petitioner. However, was also of the opinion that when there is a life and death situation is in front of the petitioner, the Court cannot shut its eyes and direct the petitioners to invoke the appellate remedy.

Advocate N.A Shafeek appeared for the petitioners and Advocate Roshen D. Alexander D appeared for the respondents.

In the present matter, the petitioner was suffering from an advanced chronic kidney disease where the doctors advised urgent renal transplantation to save his life. Petitioner no 2 in the matter who was a well-wisher and family came forward to donate his kidney. However, the Hospital demanded a police verification report from Respondent no.1- Deputy Superintendent, even after the submission of the application.

According to the police verification report the donor, also the petitioner no. 2 had no specific relationship/friendship to the patient, therefore the enquiry officer was of the opinion that the organ transplantation is only based on financial interest.

Resultantly, the Court directed the authorisation committee to reconsider the matter and pass consequential orders granting authorization for renal transplantation, based on the application submitted by the petitioners, as expeditiously as possible.

“If the thinking of human beings is not to live forever, but to help another live a little longer, the god and our fellow citizens will bless us. That should be the slogan for encouraging human organ donation”, the bench observed in the initial lines of the judgment.

Cause Title: Biju Mathew v. Deputy Superintendent Of Police Kodungallur [Neutral Citation Number :2023:KER:51565]

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