Stand-up comedian Sunil Pal apologises  after FIR over defamatory remarks against doctors

Days after Mumbai Police registered an FIR against stand-up comedian and actor Sunil Pal for allegedly making defamatory remarks against doctors engaged in COVID-19 management and treatment of patients, the latter posted an apology on Twitter.

Sharing a picture of the FIR, Sunil simply wrote "Sorry doctors".

The FIR against Pal was lodged by the Andheri police on Tuesday on the basis of a complaint filed by Dr Sushmita Bhatnagar, head of the Association of Medical Consultants, he said.

According to the complaint, Pal made the alleged derogatory comments against doctors during a show on an entertainment channel.

In her statement to the police, Dr Bhatnagar said last month she came across a video on social media in which Pal is seen making derogatory remarks against doctors.

Dr Bhatnagar also accused Pal of making derogatory comments against frontline health workers.

Pal, in the video, is heard saying, "Doctors are a form of God, but 90 per cent of the doctors have taken an evil form, and are fraud. Poor people are being scared in the name of COVID all day, they are humiliated and harassed by saying there are no beds, no plasma, no medicine, no this, no that."

The police booked Pal under IPC sections 505-II (statement conducting mischief) and 500 (punishment for defamation) and further investigation was underway, the official said.

Soon after this video went viral, Pal released another video clarifying his statement, claiming that he had not targeted all doctors, but was speaking about few. "If my statements hurt the doctors, I apologize and take my words back. Doctors really are a form of God," Pal said in the video.

When FPJ contacted Pal for a comment, he said that he had uploaded an apology in the form of video, however, that never came to the fore.

"As a comedian I take the current topics and turn it into a satire and I have the eight to exercise my freedom of speech and expression, which I did. Having said that, if I hurt any feelings, that was not my intention and I apologize. I only referred to 90 percent of the doctors in the video, and if the ones who were hurt consider themselves in the 90 percent at fault, there is nothing I can do," added Pal.

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Free Press Journal