New Delhi: A Delhi court has dismissed a complaint against “motivational speaker” Vivek Bindra, 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.
Medical Dialogues team had earlier reported that a video was circulated by Dr Vivek Bindra, a corporate trainer and a motivational speaker on youtube and social media which has drawn the ire of the medical community in the country. His Video titled – Indian Medical System की असलियत | Case Study | Dr Vivek Bindra ( ” The reality of Indian Medical System, Case Study”- begins with him calling doctors bloody murders in white coats ( Safed Coat ke khooni lootere) and threw a number allegations at the medial fraternity stating that doctors do not know how to make money ethically.
The defamation case against Bindra, was lodged by the Joint Action Council of Service Doctor Organisation (JACSDO), a registered association of over 10,000 doctors alleging 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”.
A doctor may think that he belongs to a noble profession and his activity as a doctor is on the highest stage of the mundane plane. Collectively, all the doctors taken together, also may hold such opinion about their profession. They may call the profession learned and noble’ and ‘dedicated to the service of the people’. But while determining as to what is their ‘reputation’ in the society, their own opinion about themselves and about their profession is irrelevant even though the same may be extremely conservative, reasonable and/or based on the history of service etc.
Hence, before answering the question as to whether the impugned video has lowered down the reputation of the doctors and the medical professionals as a class, it will be necessary to appropriately determine what a ‘common man’ or ‘a man of ordinary prudence’ or ‘the society’ opinions in respect to the doctors and the medical professionals.
The complainant has not examined any person from the socitey 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 the complainant themselves in their deposition have not mentioned about any specific event which goes to show that reputation of doctors lowered in eyes of common after going through impugned video.
The judge also stated that he watched and rewatched the video but did not find anything that would constitute as defamation
Be that as it may, 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 rewatched the video in an attempt to stumble across any thing which could prima facie constitute ‘defamation’ on the touchstone of section 499, however I could not find ‘content’ which may be called defamatory without being overly sentimental and rather being a bit unreasonable.
Furthermore, impugned video, does not in any manner goes to shows that the accused have any intention to insult the Doctors or any particular profession. Had it been the case, accused would not have, in the said video, referred and appreciated Padmabhushan 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.
“In light of the law and facts discussed above, there is nothing prima facie on record which could show that the impugned video would amount to public nuisance or cause any common injury, danger or annoyance to the public who dwell or occupy property in the vicinity. Furthermore by no stretch of imagination the said video can be said to promote enmity between different sections of society,” the court noted