Patiala, May 6: Chief Judicial Magistrate S S Panesar has acquitted all the three accused booked by the police on the charges of selling human eyes.
The police had registered a case against Baba Balbir Singh, who runs Pingal Ashram on the outskirts of the city, on the charges of selling eyes of people who died at his ''ashram'' in connivance with two doctors, who owned private eye hospitals in the city.
The local police had claimed that the Baba and the private eye hospital owner, Dr Rajiv Sharma and Dr D C Bansal, had been running a racket of selling eyes of people who died at the Baba's ashram to needy persons at a price. Besides booking the Baba, the police had also booked Dr Rajiv Sharma who runs Sharma Eye Hospital and one of his employees Mann Singh.
Later, after conducting the preliminary investigations the police had also booked Dr D C Bansal.
The matter came to light when an employee of the Sharma Eye Hospital, Mann Singh was caught while bringing a pair of eyes to the hospital from the mortuary of the Government Rajindra Hospital, where postmortem on body of an expired inmate of the ashram was conducted.
Reportedly, Mann Singh had told the police that Balbir Singh had been selling eyes to the hospital for the past one year and at least over a dozen eyes were sold during this period. It had been alleged that Baba used to charge around Rs 15,000 per eye.
A case under section of 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sections of the Human Transplant Act were also added to the case.
However, later the police decided to withdraw the case and an application was moved in the court. But as the media reported the matter, the then Inspector General of Police Rajinder Singh asked the Senior Superintendent of Police to re-examine the allegations and file a challan in the court.
The Chief Judicial Magistrate, after hearing both the sides, pronounced that the said case did not attract sections of the Human Transplant Act and that there was no evidence to prove the charges that had been filed under section 420 of the IPC.