Delhi Police head constable Salim P K has filed a petition in the Supreme Court, seeking compensation for a “drunk” video of him on the Delhi Metro that went viral on social media, and the subsequent media coverage that has “irreparably maligned his image in the eyes of the public”.
Salim’s lawyer Wills Mathews told The Indian Express that Salim has been on medical leave for three months. His health has been poor ever since he suffered a massive stroke three years ago, he said. Mathews claimed that on the day of the “incident” on August 19, Salim suffered a stroke and blacked out, which sent him crashing to the floor.
Former police commissioner B S Bassi had initiated departmental action against the constable, who hails from Kerala and was posted at the Police Lines in Outer district.
After he received a “clean chit” from his senior officers during the departmental inquiry, he filed the plea in court.
He has now requested the Centre, the Delhi government, Delhi Police Commissioner, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, and the Press Council of India to look into the matter and to implement measures to avoid abuse on social media.
His lawyer said, “After the unfortunate incident three years ago, his wife also suffered a serious stroke. His 87-year-old father is bed-ridden. He has earlier been posted in the security detail of then Home Minister P Chidambaram, former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, former Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam and some other political leaders. The petitioner has an impeccable service record. Three years ago, a blockage in his brain caused a brain haemorrhage that left him paralysed on his left side. His also suffered a contorted face, memory loss, body weakness and difficulty in communicating normally.”
He added, “On that day (August 19), Salim worked all day till 9.30 pm despite his poor health. He had also forgotten to take his medicines, following which he began to fell uneasy. He somehow managed to board the Metro, but suddenly he started to feel dizzy and could not stand properly. He could not even locate the door at Azadpur Metro station, where he had to get down. Suddenly, he lost consciousness and fell on the floor. Someone made a video of the incident and uploaded it on YouTube in a misleading way,” he added.
The video went viral, following which Bassi suspended him after terming the incident “an exception”. However, police served him a show-cause notice and initiated a departmental inquiry against him.
“During inquiry, police failed to prove he was in an inebriated condition on the day of incident and came to know he had suffered a serious stroke. He suffered another stroke during the inquiry and had to be admitted to hospital,” said a senior officer said. He added that Salim’s suspension was withdrawn and he was reinstated in the force on November 5, 2015.
The video, ‘Drunk Delhi Police man on Delhi metro – Funny’ was posted on Facebook by a user. It shows Salim struggling to hold on to a pole while swinging back and forth inside the Metro coach.
The 36-second clip also showed the disheveled policeman with his shirt untucked, trying to find his way around the coach. As the train halted at Azadpur station on the Yellow Line, the policeman loses his balance and falls.