30 Sep 2023 9:30 AM GMT
The Kerala High Court on Tuesday called upon the District Level Authorization Committee for Transplantation of Human Organs (DLAC) to decide if a 'Certificate of Altruism' was required to be obtained by petitioners, kidney patients who are presently on dialysis and other life support mechanisms.Justice Devan Ramachandran highlighted the importance of adhering to the legal requirements outlined...
The Kerala High Court on Tuesday called upon the District Level Authorization Committee for Transplantation of Human Organs (DLAC) to decide if a 'Certificate of Altruism' was required to be obtained by petitioners, kidney patients who are presently on dialysis and other life support mechanisms.
Justice Devan Ramachandran highlighted the importance of adhering to the legal requirements outlined in the Rules for organ donation and acknowledged that these rules should not be relaxed or diluted on a case-by-case basis.
"...it is indubitable that there are certain specified prescriptions stipulated in the ‘Rules’, to apply in the process of organ donation. This Court cannot, certainly, dilute the same or relax it in individual cases...the petitioners will have to follow the mandate of law strictly and scrupulously, because it is only if the systems are robust, can the laudable intent behind organ donation be preserved. That said, since the learned Government Pleader says that all which the petitioners require is to obtain a ‘Certificate of Altruism’ from the Superintendent, or Deputy Superintendent of Police, of the area where both the recipient and donor are residing and not a 'PCC'; and that too, subject to it being insisted by the 1st respondent – DLAC, I am certain that this is a matter that should be left to such Authority to decide".
The petitioners were aggrieved that their requests for kidney transplantation were not transferred to the DLAC by the concerned hospital, solely for the reason that a Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) had not been obtained by them.
The petitioners claimed that as per the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules, the necessity for a PCC had been rendered obsolete.They urgently requested the court to instruct the hospital to forward their applications and relevant documents to the DLAC so that a decision could be made swiftly, given their prolonged suffering.
Government Pleader Sunil Kumar Kuriakose concurred that a PCC was no longer necessary. He clarified that what the petitioners needed was a 'Certificate of Altruism' from the District Superintendent of Police or Deputy Superintendent of Police, depending on the donor and recipient's jurisdiction.
The Standing Counsel for the Local Committee of Organ Transplant R.S.Kalkura explained that the hospital had been following the directives of the DLAC and would comply with any court order to forward the documents to the DLAC.
The Court stressed the necessity of strict compliance with the law to maintain the integrity of the organ donation process.
Given the clarification from the Government Pleader that the petitioners only needed a 'Certificate of Altruism' and that the DLAC would decide whether it was required, the court decided to leave this matter in the hands of the DLAC.
The Court thereby directed the Convenor of the Local Committee to forward the applications of the petitioners, along with all necessary documents with the exception of the Certificate of Altruism, to the DLAC within a week.
The competent authority was directed to thereafter notify the petitioners and inform them whether they have to obtain a ‘Certificate of Altruism’ from the concerned Police Authority.
The Court directed the DLAC to complete the processes, leading to necessary permissions to be granted to the petitioners, within a period of one month if no such Certificate of Altruism was required. On the contrary, if such certificate was found to required, the Court directed the DLAC to intimate the petitioners of the same within a period of two weeks from the date on which they receive applications from the Local Committee upon which, the petitioners would be required to obtain and produce the same before the Authority as per law.
The DLAC was thus directed to take a final decision on the petitioners’ request within a month from the date on which such Certificate is produced.
The plea was accordingly disposed of.
Advocate C.M. Mohammed Iquabal appeared on behalf of the petitioners.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Ker) 529
Case Title: Soubiya & Anr. v. District Level Authorization Committee for Transplantation of Human Organs & Ors. and connected matter
Case Number: WP(C) NO. 30365 OF 2023
Click Here To Read/Download The Judgment