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Kerala Court Drops Culpable Homicide Charges Against IAS Officer Sriram Venkitaraman In 2019 Road Rage Case

Navya Benny
19 Oct 2022 2:06 PM GMT
Kerala Court Drops Culpable Homicide Charges Against IAS Officer Sriram Venkitaraman In 2019 Road Rage Case

The Additional District and Sessions Court, Trivandrum, on Wednesday, dismissed the culpable homicide charges that were framed against IAS Officer Sriram Venkitaraman and his friend, Wafa Firoz, in an alleged drunken driving case leading to death of journalist KM Basheer in 2019.

The Court was acting upon the discharge petition been filed by Venkitaraman, contending that there was no evidence regarding him having driven the vehicle in a drunken state.

Venkitaraman had been charged with offences under Sections 304, 304A, and 279 of the Indian Penal Code, apart from other provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act.

The Court dropped the charges under Section 304 which provides punishment for culpable homicide and Section 201 which penalizes causing disappearance of evidence of offence or giving false information. It however maintained that the other charges under sections 304 A (causing death by negligence) and 279 (rash and negligent driving) of the IPC and Section 184 of the Motor Vehicles Act would stand.

The Case:

In 2019, a journalist, K.M. Basheer, was allegedly killed when a vehicle driven by Venkitaraman, run him over at high speed, at Museum Junction in Thiruvananthapuram District of Kerala. It was alleged that Venkitaraman, who was accompanied by Ms. Firoz, was in an inebriated state, which led to the accident.

The doctors are said to have confirmed his inebriated state, however, later it was disclosed that there was an omission to conduct his blood test. The sample is said to have been collected only ten hours after the incident.

While Venkitaraman was suspended from service immediately following the incident, he was later reinstated as the District Collector of Alappuzha. It was pursuant to several protests that he was later removed from the post, and is presently the General Manager of SupplyCo.

In August 2022, a plea had been moved in the Kerala High Court by the brother of the deceased journalist seeking a CBI probe into the incident.

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