ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court ordered the federal and provincial health secretaries on Thursday to file concise statements regarding the illegal sale of kidneys in the country within the next 15 days.
The two-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, has taken suo motu notice over the illegal transplantation of human organs, especially kidneys.
At the hearing, the chief justice observed that Pakistan has become an international donor of kidneys. Apparently, he said, people from all over the world are coming to the country for organ transplantation after buying kidneys from poor people.
According to Babar Awan of Al-Syed Hospital, Pakistan is listed in third place among countries where the illegal sale of kidneys is rampant. India currently tops the list.
Upon hearing that, the chief justice said that efforts should be made to discourage such practices and force a drop in the country’s ratings on that dubious list.
Aslam Khakki, appearing on behalf of Al-Syed Hospital said, the law enforcers are harassing his client and other institutions involved in legitimate kidney transplantation.
The chief justice explained that no directive has been issued to law-enforcement agencies or police in this regard. He told the counsel that his client and other such institutions are at liberty to seek remedy from appropriate forums. Justice Jamali said this case is not against any individual, but pertains to a very serious issue and the quarters concerned need to think about it.
The chief justice said that if there is some lacuna in the law then it should be removed instead of making kidney transplantation a trade.
Later, the bench issued notices to health secretaries of federal and provincial governments for submitting reply regarding the matter within two weeks.
Meanwhile, Assistant Advocate General Mudassar Khalid Abbasi has submitted a preliminary report informing the court that the Punjab Human Organ Transplant Authority (PHOTA) has been established regarding the registration of such hospitals.
The report says that only Al-Syed Hospital has been registered with the government on May 15, while two other hospitals — Badar Medical Complex and Gujrat City — have not been registered so far.