Delhi High Court: In an unfortunate case, wherein the petitioner, while seeking organ donation and during the pendency of the Hospital’s decision, had passed away, a Single Judge Bench of Prathiba M. Singh, J. opined that strict timeline prescribed under the Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994 (“the Act”) were not being adhered to in taking decisions relating to organ transplant. Therefore, the Court directed the appearance of the Hospital on the next date of hearing, failing which costs would be imposed and held that no further adjournments would be granted in the present case.
In the present case, the petitioner was seeking organ donation and had challenged the Sir Ram Ganga Hospital’s (“Hospital”) indecision and delay in taking decision on the kidney transplant. But during the pendency of the petition, the petitioner passed away. Despite the demise of the petitioner and owing to the importance of adhering to timelines in such matters, this Court in its Order dated 13-9-2022 inquired on the timelines that had to be followed by the hospitals under the Act.
The respondents had earlier submitted that as per Rules 23(2) and 23(3) of the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules, 2014, the Authorization Committee had to proceed on an urgent basis and a final decision had to be taken within 24 hours. On the other hand, the petitioner had earlier submitted that between the time when the screening process commenced and the matter was placed before the Authorization Committee, valuable time was lost and therefore, further guidelines needed to be framed and issued.
Therefore, this Court opined that the present matter deserved urgent consideration as the strict timelines prescribed under the Act were not being adhered to in taking decisions relating to organ transplant. The Court further held that no further adjournments will be granted in the present case and if the Hospital did not appear on the next date, then an adverse inference would be liable to be drawn and costs would also be liable to be imposed.
The matter would next be taken up on 28-4-2023.
[Amar Singh Bhatia v. Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, 2023 SCC OnLine Del 996, decided on 15-2-2023]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
For the Petitioners: Advocate Charu Aneja;
For the Respondents: Senior Panel Counsel Saroj Bidawat.
*Order by: Justice Prathiba M. Singh.
*Simranjeet Kaur, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.