The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea of a Delhi Police head constable seeking compensation for his "wrong" portrayal in a video that went viral on social media last year showing him swaying and collapsing in a metro coach in an alleged drunken state.
A bench of Justices J S Khehar and C Nagappan said nobody was guilty as neither the video was doctored, nor had the media circulated it with some ulterior motive.
"What can be done when nobody committed any wrong. You have already come back on duty," the bench said, adding that there was no violation of any fundamental right of Salim P K.
The video titled as 'Drunk Delhi Police man on Delhi metro -- Funny' was posted on Facebook by a user which showed Salim struggling to hold on to a pole while swinging back and forth inside the moving metro coach.
Salim, who has re-joined the force, had said he was not drunk but at that time was losing consciousness because of a major blockage in his brain while travelling home from duty.
In his petition, he said his helpless state was video recorded and circulated by news channels alleging he was drunk, which had amounted to "convicting a person guilty for an alleged offence without trial".
Salim, a Kerala native, who had joined Delhi Police in 1986 and served in the security teams of Union Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium, was suspended after the video showed him in a bad light.
He was reinstated later by the police which gave him a clean chit after he informed them about his medical problem, with his suspension period being taken as 'spent on duty'.
In his petition filed through advocate Wills Mathew, he said that while serving on special security duty of Dikshit, he had suffered a major brain stroke on January 9, 2012 and was saved after an immediate surgery which left him partially paralysed and with a contorted face.
On August 19 last year when the purported video was filmed, he was on duty, but due to inadequate sleep and not having taken the required medicines, he experienced memory loss and drowsiness, resulting in a situation in which he could not even change his uniform, Salim had said.
The plea had said, "the act of uploading the video clipping of 37 seconds on social media by a stranger resulted in demoralising the family members of the petitioner and questioning the credibility of the organisation, Delhi Police, where he is working...".
Salim had sought directions for the Centre, Press Council of India, Delhi government, Commissioner of Police and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to take appropriate positive steps like publishing correct facts to ensure that he regains his lost dignity and for a reasonable amount as compensation or damages to him.
IMAGE: A grab from the video of the cop posted across social media. Photograph: YouTube