A TEAM from the Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), led by Additional Commissioner of Police Anand Rokade, on Friday visited the JJ hospital, along with the two persons arrested for allegedly demanding bribes to clear a kidney transplant request.
The arrested duo, Tushar Savarkar and Sachin Salve, were “confronted” with other senior officials in charge of the transplant procedures to find out how they allegedly rigged the system.
The ACB is scrutinising 550 transplant proposals cleared since 2017 by Savarkar, a social services superintendent of the state-run JJ hospital, who was arrested on Monday for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 80,000 for processing an organ transplant procedure.
The ACB team on Friday visited the room where the trap was laid and also sought details about the 550 transplants.
An IPS officer said: “On Friday, an ACB team with Rokade and the investigating officer of the case visited JJ hospital, along with Savarkar and Salve. The accused were confronted with the senior officials from the hospital in charge of carrying out the transplant procedures to find out the procedures involved in kidney transplant. The accused were also questioned about how the duo managed to delay the well laid out procedure in order to demand bribe. Apart from that, we also took details of the 550 transplant procedures that had been cleared by Savarkar in the past year.”
The officer added that they were in the process of sending an audio clip, in which the accused are allegedly heard demanding a bribe from the complainant, to the forensic science laboratory for verification.
A senior officer said that they are also checking if an alleged kidney racket case busted at Powai in 2016 was in any way linked to the current bribery incident. Apart from the complainant in the case, the ACB has found another person who has alleged that he had to pay Rs 10,000 for the kidney transplant procedure to be carried out. Further, the ACB is checking if anyone else had to make such payments in the past.
Director General (ACB) Sanjay Barve said: “We would appeal to the people to contact us if they have had to pay bribes or are aware of something regarding the same. People can also give anonymous complaints using our website or helpline number.”
On Monday, the ACB had arrested Savarkar and Salve — organ transplant co-ordinator with the SL Raheja Hospital — for allegedly demanding Rs 1.5 lakh from a patient requiring a kidney transplant, in order to expedite permissions for the transplant. The patient subsequently approached the ACB and paid Rs 80,000 to Salve. Both were arrested from JJ hospital. The duo were produced in court on Thursday and the ACB was given their custody till Saturday.