New Delhi, Apr 4 (PTI) A Delhi court has dismissed a complaint against a doctor, who referred to some medical practitioners as “murderers in white coats” in a video that went viral on social media earlier this year, saying there was nothing in the video which lowered the reputation of medical practitioners.
The video was posted on YouTube in December last year in which Vivek Bindra could be seen speaking about alleged money-making practices prevalent in medical profession. The video became viral in a short span of time and Bindra was accused of defaming doctors, by several medical bodies including the Indian Medical Association (IMA).
Metropolitan Magistrate Anubhav Jain, who dismissed the complaint against Bindra, said he watched the video many times and could not find anything defamatory against doctors.
“The context in which the video has been published, seems an endeavour of a businessman, who himself is a doctor and promotes himself as a business guru and a motivational speaker, to promote himself and his business.
“I place it on record that I have watched and re-watched the video in an attempt to stumble across anything which could prima facie constitute defamation’ on the touchstone of Section 499 (of the IPC). However, I could not find content’ which may be called defamatory without being overly sentimental and rather being a bit unreasonable,” the magistrate said.
The court said that the video did not in any manner show that the accused had any intention to insult doctors or any particular profession as he could be seen appreciating several medical practitioners as well.
“Had it been the case, the accused would not have, in the said video, referred and appreciated Padma Bhushan receiver Devi Prasad Shetty. Accused further made made reference of Govindappa Venkataswamy, Arvind Eye Care Hospital and Tata Memorial Hospital in the impugned video and has highly appreciated their efforts in the field of medical science,” the court said.
“Furthermore, by no stretch of imagination the said video can be said to promote enmity between different sections of society,” it said.
The defamation case against Bindra, a motivational speaker and consultant was lodged by the Joint Action Council of Service Doctor Organisation (JACSDO), a registered association of over 10,000 doctors.
The body had alleged that the video brought disrepute to the medical professionals and sought that Bindra should be summoned as accused for the offences of defamation, public nuisance and promoting enmity between different groups under the IPC.
According to the complaint, the accused defamed the noble profession of practice of medicine with an intention mainly to lower down the reputation and prestige of doctors and medical professionals in public by posting the video online.
The court, however, dismissed it, and said the doctors’ body had “not examined any person from the society or a man of ordinary prudence, who would have deposed that after watching the video the reputation of doctors was lowered in his eyes”.
“It is further pertinent to state in here that no witness was examined from the website YouTube.com in order to show or prove that the said video was uploaded on their website, that too, by the accused himself,” it said.
The video was posted on the popular video-sharing website on December 29, 2017 on Bindra’s channel, where he spoke about the need of affordable healthcare in India and accused some medical practitioners of misleading patients and minting money from them. He also referred to some doctors as “killers” and “murderers in white coats”.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.