The High Court on Thursday allowed organ donation beyond relatives of recipients under humanitarian consideration, which was restricted under the Organ Transplantation Act.
However, the sale of human organs remains illegal in the country. The court also asked the government to amend three provisions of the act, which prevents anyone from donating organs to recipients not closely related to them.
The High Court also asked the government to take action against culprits involved in illegal sale of kidneys.
In 2017, a woman named Fatema Zohra filed a writ petition with the High Court, challenging the constitutionality of sections 2 (ga), 3 and 6 of the Organ Transplantation Act.
Fatema had found a kidney donor for her ailing daughter, but the donor could not donate the organ because it was illegal in the eyes of the law. Fatema then submitted a petition to the High Court.
The High Court issued a rule on August 24 the same year, seeking explanation from the government on why the above-mentioned sections of the act should not be declared unconstitutional.
Barrister Rashna Imam represented the petitioner, while Advocate ZI Khan Panna represented Ain O Salish Kendra.
Giving her reaction, Rashna Imam said, "The existing law only permits the father, mother, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, uncles, aunts and husband or wife to donate organs to a recipient. The court ordered that the law be amended."