A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice A R Joshi also laid down guidelines to cut delays. The order came during the hearing of three petitions filed by Pune residents awaiting kidney transplants.
This will help streamline the process of securing approvals from the authorization committee.
The Transplantation of Human Organs Act says that no human organ removed from the body of a donor before his death shall be transplanted into a recipient unless the donor is a near relative of the recipient-spouse, son, daughter, father, mother, brother or sister.
An exception can be made, when transplantation is allowed between an unrelated donor and recipient, where it is shown that it is being done because of affection or for special reasons.
Such organ transplantations between unrelated persons can take place only with the approval from the authorization committee which ensures that it is not a commercial deal.
The judges said in emergency cases, the applications should be accompanied by a certificate from a super specialist about the reasons for the patient needing urgent transplantation. "If the authorization committee is satisfied about the genuineness of the certificate, it shall decide such application by giving priority and preferably in a period of four weeks."
"All applications shall be decided expeditiously and no one shall be made to wait for six months as done in one of the cases," said the judges.
The court has said that the powers to verify and approve applications will lie with the 67 state authorisation committees only.
First domino kidney transplant
Meanwhile, overcoming this bureaucratic delay, the country's first domino kidney transplant operations involving five patients and five of their relatives were successfully carried out in Mumbai, yesterday.
A domino transplant involves a chain of donors and recipients. When a relative is unable to donate his or her kidney to an organ-failure patient due to mismatch of blood tissues, he or she can opt to give it to another patient, whose relative, in turn, donates a kidney to the first patient. When more than two pairs of donors and recipients are involved, these swap transplants are called domino transplants.
The doctors said they hoped this domino transplant would increase awareness about swap transplants.
Four operations were carried out at Bombay Hospital in New Marine Lines, another four at L H Hiranandani Hospital in Powai and two at Hinduja Hospital in Mahim. Involved in this simultaneous operations were three hospitals, 10 operation theatres and 40 doctors.
In yesterday's case, four couples from Mumbai and a father-daughter pair from Rajasthan swapped kidneys. The domino chain of five had two pairs who could donate kidneys to each other.