Kerala govt moves HC against dropping of murder charge against IAS officer
The lower court ruled there was no evidence to prove the officer was drunk at the time of the accident on August 3, 2019, that claimed the life of a young journalist
The Kerala government on Wednesday moved the high court (HC) against a lower court’s order dropping a culpable homicide charge against former (suspended) IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman and his friend Wafa Firoze in the alleged drunk driving case of 2019 in which journalist K M Basheer was killed.
In October this year, a sessions court in Thiruvananthapuram dropped culpable homicide charges against both but maintained that other charges under sections 304 A (causing death by negligence) and 279 (rash driving ) of the IPC and section 184 of the Motor Vehicles Act (reckless driving) will stay.
The lower court ruled there was no evidence to prove the officer was drunk at the time of the accident on August 3, 2019, that claimed the life of a young journalist.
While officer Venkitaraman is the first accused, his friend is the second accused in the case. Soon after the incident, the state suspended Venkitaraman from service. He is currently the general manager of the state civil supplies corporation.
According to the plea filed by the government, the officer allegedly delayed his treatment and blood check after he was rushed to the general hospital in the state capital soon after the accident. The officer then got himself admitted to a private hospital.
Witnesses to the accident in their statements said the accused officer was inebriated at the time of the incident but deliberately delayed his medical test. His blood sample was reportedly taken 10 hours after the accident, the plea states.
“Statements of witnesses in unequivocal terms stated that the first accused was in an inebriated state. The officer, being a qualified doctor and civil servant, was aware of the consequences and hence delayed further tests following which the session court proceeded with the trial of the accused under section 304 of the IPC,” the government contended in its plea.
In August this year, the brother of the deceased journalist moved the HC alleging a big cover-up and sought a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the matter.