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After 12 years, kidney racket victim waits for justice

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Cheated: Deveerappa with his wife Theerthamma.
Cheated: Deveerappa with his wife Theerthamma.

M.V. Chandrasekhar

He does not even know in which court and when his case will come up for trial

BANGALORE: Deveerappa surely regrets that day in 1995 when he went to Victoria Hospital and “lost” a kidney. For 12 years, this man from Chitradurga has been eking out a living in Bangalore, waiting for his case to come up for a hearing in court. His health has deteriorated and the plight of his family is precarious. But his wait for justice goes on and on.

Sitting in the one-room accommodation he calls his home, Deveerappa narrates his tale of woe...

Fifty-year-old H.S. Deveerappa was a farmer at a village in Hebbali in Hosadurga taluk in Chitradurga district. Constant stomach ache after a surgery for peptic ulcer in a hospital in Davangere brought him to Bangalore’s Victoria Hospital in 1994. Little did he suspect than that his visit to the out patient department here to get a cure for stomach ache will lead him to the country’s biggest organ transplant scam and into a life of pain and agony.

Deveerappa came to Bangalore with the help of his brother who worked for KSRTC in Kanakapura. He went to the outpatient department at Victoria Hospital. He was given a slip and was asked to meet a senior doctor.

He was asked to go to the Yellamma Dasappa Hospital where he was admitted as an in-patient. His kidney was removed. The recipient was P.K. Jain from Rajasthan, who died after the transplant.

His brother came in search of him to Bangalore – first to Victoria Hospital and then to Yellamma Dasappa Hospital. When he learnt of what had been done, he berated the doctor who had performed the surgery. According to Deveerappa, his consent was not taken for the surgery.

Deveerappa lodged a complaint at the Commercial Street Police Station against the doctor. The police registered a case in crime number 54/95 against the doctor. The doctor, he alleged, had violated the rules and procedures of organ transplant and sold the kidney for a huge sum.

The loss of his kidney and the lack of pre and post operative care enervated Deveerappa. He cannot work for more than three hours at a stretch.

Deveerappa says the only money he got was Rs. 20,000 from the doctor that was spent for his medical expenses. He is hoping to get justice but confides that he is in the dark about the case and not aware about the court where it is slated for trial.

He says he cannot go back to his native village and must continue to work in a hotel in Bangalore earning around Rs.1,700 doing errands. He lives with his wife Theerthamma and son Prasanna in a small room in the hotel. After 12 years with little headway made in the case, Deveerappa is losing hope.

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