Kidney transplant upheld between not near relatives to prevent loss of life: Punjab High Court.

The Punjab High Court, on 6th December, 2022, in Ajay Mittal and others v/s Union of India and another (CWP NO.26361 OF 2022), upheld the petitions for transplant between not near relatives. The judgement was presided by Honourable Mr. Justice Vinod S. Bhardwaj.


Under the writ of mandamus, the petitioners sought for grant of approval to engage in swap transplantation. Petitioner 1 and petitioner 2 were suffering from various kidney ailment and in need of a transplant. Petitioner 3 was the wider of petitioner 2 and petitioner 4, the mother in-law of petitioner 1. Voluntarily and out of love, petitioner 3 and 4 agreed to donate their kidneys. However, the blood groups of petitioner 2 matched to that of petitioner 4s’ while petitioner 1st’ to petitioner 3s’. The petitioners submitted an application for swap transplantation under the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act, 1994. This request was turned down by the authorisation committee and swap transplantation was permissible only from near relatives.


The Court took in consideration the progress in Science and reliance of mankind to donate organs in order to save human lives. Government has also been promoting for organ donation post death, in order for other lives to be saved. However, scandals Nanded practices in organ trade led to legislations to regulate organ transplantation.

In this case, the Court held that “Loss of human life should not be permitted merely at the altar of technicalities and more so when the possibility of commercial transaction in such swapping has been completely ruled out. The donor for petitioner no.1 is his mother-in-law and as such, it cannot be construed that the said donor has agreed to donate her kidney for commercial reasons.”

The Court set aside the order of the authorisation committee and granted permission for the swap transplantation.

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