Congress demands more teeth to law to stop organ racket

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New Delhi, Feb 8 (UNI) Describing human organ racket as a "foul and reprehensible" crime, the Congress today asked the government to provide more teeth to the Human Organs Transplantation Act and implement it strictly to act as a deterrent against a crime in which the ignorance and poverty of the poor were exploited.

"The government should take a fresh look at the act passed in 1984.

It is high time that the law was redrafted with greater teeth to ensure that its implementation is absolutely rigid," AICC spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan told mediapersons in the first reaction of the party after the Haryana police uncovered a multi-crore kidney racket with international link last week.

She said the kidney racket had exposed the ugly face of the society and shocked the conscience of the nation because it represented what was possibly the "most obscene form of exploitation of poverty." In this context, the spokesperson said the human organ racket was flourishing in several parts of the country by exploiting the poverty of the poorest of the poor.

Saying that racketeering in human organs was a foul and reprehensible crime, Ms Natarajan said those who were involved in the crime should be given the most exemplary punishment.

She said though the Act was passed in 1984, no conviction had taken place so far. Moreover, the act was, in no way, a deterrent for a crime that shocked the human conscience.

The punishment of between two to five years and a fine up to Rs 10,000, which were provided for in the act, was grossly inadequate to contain such a major crime.

Ms Natarajan said the appropriate authorities constituted at the Central and state levels under the Act had not been successful in addressing the extremely serious problem. It was also a fact that these authorities did not have the required manpower to implement the Act effectively.

In this context, she said the people arrested on charge of kidney trade were booked under the Indian Penal Code and not under the Act.

"Any society that has a modicum of concern for citizens of the country should ensure that this exploitation is stopped," the spokesperson said, while urging the investigating agencies to ensure that the entire network involved in the racket should be brought to justice.

She said there were more than 500 unsuspecting victims in the Gurgaon-based kidney racket whose kingpin Amit Kumar had been reportedly arrested in Nepal.

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