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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019

Kerala HC refuses to cancel bail of IAS officer who allegedly ran over journalist

The Kerala government had moved the court to cancel the bail granted to the IAS officer by the chief judicial magistrate court on Tuesday.

kerala Updated: Aug 07, 2019 20:45 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
Journalist KM Basheer was killed after IAS officer Sriram Venkataraman who was driving a car allegedly knocked down his motorcycle and ran over him.
Journalist KM Basheer was killed after IAS officer Sriram Venkataraman who was driving a car allegedly knocked down his motorcycle and ran over him. (Twitter/ANI)
         

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday refused to cancel the bail of an Indian Administrative Services officer Sriram Venkataraman (33) who was allegedly involved in a drink driving case that resulted in the death of a journalist last week in the state capital.

The state government had moved the court to cancel the bail granted to the IAS officer by the chief judicial magistrate court on Tuesday. While hearing the plea the court pulled up the police saying there was no justification for not collecting evidences like blood samples and finger prints immediately after the incident.

At one point the court asked the police: “Do you think evidences against Venkataraman will be provided by himself?” But police said they could not take blood because he was also injured in the accident and cited the accounts of witnesses that he was “heavily drunk” when the mishap took place.

The court said it will hear the government’s plea in detail on Friday and sent a notice to the accused. The court said it can’t cancel the bail at this juncture. Venkataraman who was also injured in the accident is undergoing treatment at the medical college hospital in Thiruvananthapuram but police claimed that he received only minor injuries in the mishap. The hospital’s medical board said there are chances of internal injuries as he vomited continuously.

Venkataraman was granted bail by the CJM court after his blood tested negative for alcohol. The report and the bail evoked instant protests from friends and colleagues of the victim - K M Basheer (35) who was run over after the IAS officer’s car hit his motorcycle. They claimed the blood test was taken eight hours after the mishap, and that there were several other ways in which fellow bureaucrats of the Kerala cadre officer tried to help him.

According to the police the IAS officer was under the influence of alcohol as he drove the car carelessly and rammed the motorcycle of the bureau chief of Malayalam daily Siraj, in the early hours of Saturday. Venkataraman was with a woman friend and he later told the police she was at the wheel.

But his friend denied this subsequently and said in a statement before a magistrate that he was driving the vehicle when the accident took place. The IAS officer, who was appointed as the survey director by the state government last week, was later arrested for rash driving on a public way and culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, meanwhile, reiterated that his government will take strict action against those who try to weaken the case. “Initial inquiries show he was under the influence of liquor. The case makes more serious when a person who knows everything about the law indulges in such crimes,” he said.

First Published: Aug 07, 2019 19:41 IST

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