“Money making racket at Apollo Hospital “, Bangalore. Defamation suit filed against this blog

Dear Readers,

I would hereby like to share the other side of the story titled ‘ Money making racket at Apollo Hospital , Bangalore”. created by Mr Sunil.B.Chandrashekar [redacted]

Following Defamation suit has been filed by Dr.Prashanth S Urs against the blog ‘ Money making racket at Apollo Hospital , Bangalore” pending adjutication in the Hon’ble court CCH13 V addl city civil and sessions Judge. O.S.No.7346/2017

Below is the photograph of SUNIL CHANDRASHEKAR against whom the defamation suit has been filed

    Sunil Chandrashekar

  1. Plaintiff  Dr.Prashanth S Urs is a permanent resident of the State of Karnataka and is presently residing at the address as shown in cause title. Plaintiff is a qualified and reputed Senior Consultant Neonatologist who is having more than 23 years of experience in the field of Neonatology and Pediatrics. Plaintiff is the Head of Department & Senior Consultant Neonatologist in Apollo Hospital, Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore, a reputed Hospital in South Bangalore, since the year 2008 to till date. Plaintiff is also a Senior Consultant Neonatologist and Head of the Department in Apollo Cradle, Koramangala, Bangalore since 2013, till date. The Plaintiff has served as Lecturer in Pediatrics, Professor in Pediatrics and  also served as  in-charge of Neonatology Department  in M.S.Ramaiah Medical College, Bangalore from 1995 to 2006. Plaintiff has also got international experience such as Fellowship training in Australia during 2002-2003 and Advanced Fellowship in Australia during 2007-2008. Plaintiff was also elected unanimously as  the President of National Neonatology Forum, Karnataka Chapter during 2011-2013, a prestigious Association of Neonatologist and Pediatrician, having  its head office at New Delhi, which is working in the interest of Newborns in the Country and helps the Government of India and State Government in drawing guidelines on new born care, training of Nurses and Doctors  in newborn care. The Forum is a non-profit organization recognized by WHO, UNICEF and USAIDS. Plaintiff has made several publications in National and International journals and made several presentations and lectures in all major conferences. He is also the Trainer for advanced Training to fellowship Programmes conducted by National Neonatology  The Plaintiff possess good reputation amongst public and has achieved many promotions in his career and is befitting to earn many more promotions, bears the testimony to the fact that the Plaintiff has maintained good character, moral and exemplary service records throughout his career. The job of the Plaintiff is of public dealings and during the course of his duty he has to deal with large number of individuals coming from various strata of Society from within and outside the State of Karnataka.
  2. The Child of first defendant was examined by Local Pediatrician Radhika Mahale ( M: 9341244341) on 20/05/2010 at 10.30 P.M and referred with diagnosis of probable sepsis and advice for admission in tertiary hospital at Malathi Manipal hospital or at Apollo hospital under the plaintiff. On 21/05/2010, at around 5.30 A.M, the Defendant No.1 brought his child, a  25 day old newborn,  to the Apollo Hospital, Bannerghatta Road. It is important to note that inspite of the referring pediatrician diagnosing a probable serious condition and reffered for admission immediately the defendants have come to the hospital only the next day. The  baby was examined by the plaintiff on 21/05/2010 at 6.10 A.M. Plaintiff  has concurred with the diagnosis of the Pediatrician, who referred the patient to the  Hospital. In view of suspected  sepsis,  the baby was  admitted in NICU at Apollo Hospital started with septic work and antibiotics as per standard treatment protocol.  Later, as the Blood culture showed positive for bacterial infection ( Co-agulase negative staphylococcal infection )Lumbar puncture was advised as part of sepsis work up which is mandatory to rule out meningitis. The Consent was taken from mother after explaining to her regarding the procedure and the need for the procedure. The consent form for Lumbar puncture has been signed by Mother of Baby, Mrs. Saroja after getting a detail explanation. The  defendant no  1 and the mother of the baby being educated and qualified professionals, did not raise any doubts regarding the treatment advised. Menigitis is a serious condition if left untreated or partially treated, which affects the brain and cause permanent damage to the brain leading to a mentally handicapped child or death. Usually, efforts are always made to diagnose meningitis at the earliest to avoid late neurological complications, which is the standard international protocol for management of Sepsis in newborn babies. Since the culture was being positive for coagulase negative staphylococci, the patient  was advised to undergo lumbar puncture to diagnose if the infection had spread to brain and also to decide the duration of treatment with antibiotics, which changes if meningitis is diagnosed. Lumbar puncture and  CSF analysis  is the only way to confirm Meningitis (Infection of the brain).
  3. Patient was counselled by the consultants of the Hospital every day which has been documented and all the required investigation reports given to parents as requested. Defendant No. 1 was allowed and free to take any number of opinions and was also free to get discharge of the baby at any point, if they had any apprehension.
  4. The defendant No 1, for reasons best known to him requested for discharge of the child, on 25/05/2010 at 7.00 P.M. Discharge at that stage was not in the interest of the child, with incomplete treatment for sepsis and in view of blood culture being positive. Plaintiff was on leave and hence the request of defendant 1  was informed to the Incharge doctor Dr Hegde. However, since the  Defendant No. 1 requested for discharge against medical advice, it was agreed to discharge on request with advise to complete the course of antibiotics. The defendant 1 wanted to get  discharged in the morning, hence respecting his decision, as per protocol, baby was shifted to cradle from incubator for acclimatization to environmental temperature, before discharge. This is done to avoid hypothermia after discharge, as the child was to be discharged. This was misinterpreted by the Defendant No. 1, that it was done purposefully since defendant No. 1 had asked discharge and the defendant No. 1 verbally abused the nurses in middle of the night and created a ruckus in the NICU affecting other patient’s sleep and peace of mind. The Defendant 1  forcibly got the baby discharged on 26/05/2010 at 6.30 A.M.
  5. While things stood thus, the Defendant No. 1, few days after discharge has written a blog at the website of Defendant No. 3, wordpress.com dated 03.06.2010, wherein the Defendant No. 1 stated the heading of the blog as “Money making Racket at Apollo Hospital, Bangalore”, which is utterly false, frivolous and vexatious, with a view to cause damage to the reputation of the Plaintiff by defaming the Plaintiff and  by writing  and posting  a blog on the above mentioned in the blog with malicious intent harbored by the Defendant no 1,  so as to cause irretrievable harm and damage to the reputation, name, fame and standing of the Plaintiff in  the Society, which the Plaintiff has painstakingly built over many decades.
  6. The Defendant No. 1 has deliberately written the blog dated 03.06.2010, which on the face of it is offensive, obnoxious and smacks of the underlying malice and mischief intended by the Defendant No. 1  so as to deliberately tarnish the image and reputation of the Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s other family members and cause embarrassment to  them in the eyes of reasonably thinking people and  among the public; the said blog is based on conjectures and surmises and in utter disregard of the standards of journalistic norms and ethics and abuse of freedom of publications. The said blog does not carry a fair report of facts and it rather carries a malafide intention of Defendant No. 1  to demean the Plaintiff.  It is also pertinent to submit that the  Defendant No 1 is not a man with qualification of experience or expertise in the field of medicine. His comments are general, vague and biased only to harm the reputation of the plaintiff. As it appears from the comments, his alleged reasonings/ comments are not backed by any data, technical input or material, as to the knowledge, research or basis for his such conclusions,  to write such comment on highly technical aspect of child care.   The Defendant No. 1’s grievance appears to be about alleged unnecessary prolongation, hospitalization and unnecessary admission as impatient  in NICU. Suffice it to say that, it is the Plaintiff and his team of doctors, who have to decide on the nature, type and method of treatment and it cannot be allowed to be determined by any third party. The practice followed and adopted by the Plaintiff and the team of hospital is not in violation of standard procedure; at any rate, it is not irrational, it is done stage by stage after observing the patient’s reaction and backed by periodic  medical and laboratory reports. And very impotantly, after the consent being taken from the parent.
  1. The plaintiff submits that even During the hospitalization of the child, the Defendant No. 1 had behaved abnormally with the nursing staff by abusing them and taken letters from them under duress in the middle of the night when none of the senior management were around. The defendant No 1 also had  threatened them that he would go to the Media. Thus, the Defendant No. 1 has managed to get discharged for a treatment, without paying a rupee  to the Hospital.  The Defendant No. 1 left the Hospital without settling  the  Apollo Hospital Bill. It is also important to note that plaintiff was on leave from 24/05/2010 and charge of the patient was handed over to Dr Hegde colleague of the Plaintiff. It is important to note that infact the plaintiff had advised to stop the antibiotics and discharge if the blood culture and sensitivity report was negative on 23/05/2010 itself. Since the Blood culture and sensistivity report came positive further treatment and investigation ( Lumbar puncture) was advised.  Though the treatment has been given as per Standard Clinical Protocol for management of sepsis in new born and availing the required medical treatment, the defendant No. 1 has raised several false allegations and is trying to tarnish the image of the plaintiff, the Consultant, as well as Hospital.
  2. That ever since the blog of the defendant No 1 has been updated on various websites as wordpress.com, www.mouthshut.com, ( belonging to the defendants No 2 & 3 ), the Plaintiff has had to face embarrassing enquiries encountered by known persons like people from medical back ground, relatives, friends, patients & Students etc, who have high regard for the Plaintiff and his knowledge, experience  and expertise in the exclusive filed of medicine.  It is evident from the blog that some people  are looking at the blog and making statements against the Plaintiff, without knowing the back ground, having no first hand opinion or knowledge, experience or exposure  on the complicated subject; the defendant No 1 ‘s  blog has been purposefully and calculatedly written to gain attention of the Society at large with the underlying mischief of harassing the Plaintiff, which the Defendants have achieved  by damaging the reputation and image of the Plaintiff, writing down facts which are far from truth and medically incorrect.
  3. That the cumulative direct effect of the said act of publication of blog by distortion of facts as mentioned hereinabove, individually by Defendant No. 1, has affected the career of the Plaintiff and caused a cloud  on the reputation of the Plaintiff and it will  obliterate  the contributions of the Plaintiff to the Society and in administration of various departments which the Plaintiff is involved.  This blog so written by the Defendant No 1  has no factual basis and has been published in a casual manner merely to gain undue advantage of sorts and may be even to  extort money from the Plaintiff. The defendant no 1 is the owner of the blog and the  Defendant No. 2 & 3 are  the owners of the respective websites. Defendant no 1  being  owner of the blog  has exclusive right and control  over the contents; he can add, create, modify or filter the blog to suit his case and requirement; the names figuring in the blog are fictitious  and at any rate not known or ever treated by the Plaintiff, at any time; It is obvious from their comments that they are no experts or have any authority to comment on the professional matter in medical field.  The comments in the blog of Defendant 1 against the plaintiff have been  extremely damaging , calculated  and hurting the emotional sentiments of the plaintiff and patients under the care of plaintiff. The comments are also causing them to have  a sense of mistrust in their mind against the Plaintiff. The Comments like “ Plaintiff is keeping dead babies in NICU” are totally baseless and planted caluculatedly to cause a sense of extreme repulsion and  total disgust against the plaintiff by the patients seeking to take treatment from the plaintiff, hence causing serious damage to his impeccable professional reputation and credibility as a doctor of repute in the Society.
  1. On 11.01.2014, the Plaintiff submitted his views  with the right perspective, the  correct narration of facts and data in to the blog, through the comments section in the said blog of the Defendant No 1. The Plaintiff  also contacted the Defendant No. 1 on Mobile Nos. 99452 79477, 98808 45828, 98454 48955 and spoke to the Defendant No. 1 at length to clear the Defendant No. 1’s misconceptions and requested the Defendant No. 1 to remove the article  from the blog, as it was unnecessarily damaging the reputation of the Plaintiff and family members of Plaintiff, in the Society. Despite the reply dated 11.01.2014 given by the Plaintiff,  through the blog, email and telephonic conversation, the same has not helped the Plaintiff in saving his reputation in Society. It is  observed that  the defendant No 1 is repeatedly re hosting the blog,  in the website of the 2nd & 3rd defendants and as any net users clicks the name of the plaintiff, this blog and the articles pops up on the screen,till this date and time.
  2. The irrelevant comments by the blog of defendant 1 hosted by Defendant No. 2 and 3 is a creation by the Defendants No 1, as it would not be  possible to upload these comments without the administrator’s permission, the Defendant No. 2 and 3 being the proprietors of the websites hosting this blog “Money making racket at Apollo” are held directly responsible for all the offensive and unsubstantiated comments about the Plaintiff in the blog created by the defendant 1.
  3. According to the own admission of the Defendant No. 1 on blog, the Defendant No. 1 has got discharged without paying the expenses of the treatment availed by Defendant No. 1 for the baby, from Apollo Hospital. In spite of walking out irresponsibly and without clearing the dues by the Defendant No. 1 towards the treatment, the Defendant No. 1 is continuing to cause further damage to the reputation of the Plaintiff and family members of Plaintiff.
  4. Plaintiff felt that after the response to the blog of Defendant No. 1, the Defendant No. 2 & 3 would proceed to remove the said blog knowing full that the Defendant No. 1’s  blog was untrue and merely based on conjectures and surmises. However, to the utter shock of the Plaintiff, despite several attempts to clear the allegations, the blog   still exists and continues in every possible manner, which is  defaming the reputation and goodwill of the Plaintiff. Plaintiff has suffered mental harassment and agony apart from humiliation and societal condescension due to the untrue and malafide blog of Defendant No. 1. The act of Defendants has resulted in a opinion on  the Plaintiff and family members, since the patients generally lookup online before choosing  the Consultants and the blog will create a cloud  in their  minds  and such patients may not view the Plaintiffs expertise, in the right perspective; this would effect the goodwill and the longstanding impeccable reputation the plaintiff has  gained over years of professional career.  The blog has  also hampered the career and prospectus  of Plaintiff and also effects the status of the Plaintiff which is widely recognized amongst Plaintiff’s colleagues all over the Country and the Plaintiff represents the NNF in various national and international meetings.  Also international agencies will get biased opinion on the Plaintiff when they see the read  blog which affects in getting aids for poor patients.
  5. The Plaintiff was constrained to issue Legal Notice dated 17.08.2016 calling upon Defendant No. 1 to tender un conditional apology by posting on the same blog and thereafter delete the blog from all the web site, within 15 days from the date of said un conditional apology and also for damages; the said notice sent by Registered Post Ack. Due was however not served; therefore, the Plaintiff reissued the legal notice on 05.10.2016, to correct address ( as shown in the cause title to the Plaint).  In response to the notice dated 05.10.2016, Defendant No. 1 got issued a reply notice setting up frivolous reasons; Plaintiff therefore caused to issue rejoinder notice on 31.01.2017. The Defendant No. 1 did not reply to the same nor has he  complied by the demand made therein.
  6. The Blog keeps appearing on the net search everytime the plaintiffs name is entered. The irresponsible act of the defendant 1, 2 & 3 defaming the plaintiff and planting baseless allegations is going on uninterrupted to this date and time causing serious damage to the reputation of the plaintiff and severe mental agony for sincerely and honestly delivering care as per standard protocol to the defendants child. Writing a defamatory blog against the plaintiff who treated their child in all earnestness and sincereity speaks of the basic nature of the defendant 1. The Plaintiff was therefore constrained to issue another legal notice dated 07.07.2017 calling upon the Defendant No. 1 to delete the blog post and stop reposting any article or material against the interest and reputation of the Plaintiff and also further calling upon the Defendant No. 2 and Defendant No. 3 to block the blog post of Defendant No. 1 and discontinue the said blog, within 3 days from the date of receipt of this communication. The said legal communication was issued to Defendant No. 1 and Defendant No. 2 by RPAD has been duly acknowledged   by them. However, they have not  caused to issue any reply nor comply by the demand made therein. Notice issued to Defendant No. 3 by courier has returned unserved. The copy of notice was also sent to Defendant No. 2 and Defendant No. 3,  to their email address too.  The defendant no 2 & 3 have not given any reply or  acknowledgement to the notices served to them by the plaintiff and seem to have no concern towards the  damage of reputation of the plaintiff caused by their websites hosting the misleading blog created by Defendant 1 and continue to host the blog. Hence this suit.
  1. The cause of action for the suit arose on 03.06.2010, when the Defendant No. 1 wrote a blog in the website of Defendant No. 2 and Defendant No. 3;  subsequently thereafter when the Defendant No. 1 has been posting  the blog with the alleged comments and reviews ; on 17.08.2016, when the Plaintiff caused to issue the  legal notice to Defendant No. 1; again on 05.10.2016, when the Plaintiff reissued the legal notice to Defendant to his correct address ; on 03.11.2016, when the Defendant No. 1 issued reply notice; on 31.01.2017, when the Plaintiff got issued a rejoinder; on 07.07.2017, when the Plaintiff  caused to issue another legal notice to the  defendants; and every moment  from the time of posting of the blog, whenever the blog crops up in the web site upon the searching of  the name of the Plaintiff. The  Plaintiff and the Defendant No. 1 are residents  of Bangalore City and therefore the cause of action has arisen  within the territorial jurisdiction of this Hon’ble Court at Bangalore.
  2. That the Plaintiff has not filed any other suit on the same cause of action as against the Defendants. There is no pendency of any legal proceedings or litigation either present or past concerning any part of the subject matter of this suit in any Court within the knowledge of the plaintiff.

19          WHEREFORE, the plaintiff humbly prays that this Hon’ble Court be pleased to pass the judgment and decree:

  • directing the 1st defendant to pay   10,00,000.00 (Rupees Ten  Lakhs only) to the Plaintiff towards the damages  caused due to the defamatory article /comments ;
  • Granting permanent injunction restraining the Defendant No. 1 from posting or reposting the blog in any manner in any media and on the blog on websites of wordpress.com, http://www.mouthshut.com of Defendants No. 2 and Defendant No. 3, in respect of the plaintiff or his profession;
  • Granting permanent injunction restraining the Defendant No.2 & 3 from hosting  or rehosting or publishing the blog of the defendant No 1 in  manner on the blog on websites of wordpress.com, , relating to any article concerning the plaintiff or his profession;
  • Granting Mandatory  injunction directing the Defendants No. 2 and Defendant No. 3 to delete and discontinue  the blog post on websites of wordpress.com & www.mouthshut.com forthwith and further direct blocking of reposting any article, report or material etc.,  against the interest, career and reputation of the Plaintiff, in respect of the plaintiff ;
  • Pass any other judgment and decree that this Hon’ble Court deems fit under the circumstances of the case in the interest of Justice and Equity.
  • Award costs and such other relief that the Hon’ble Court may deem fit under the circumstances of the case .