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‘No evidence exists for drunk driving: Sriram Venkitaraman IAS files discharge petition in KM Basheer’s death


Thiruvananthapuram: IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman filed a discharge petition seeking to remove him from the list of suspects in the case pertaining to the death of journalist KM Basheer. The petitioner noted that no evidence exists to prove that he was drunk during the time of incident and hence provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act will only be effective in the case. Sriram is currently the General Manager of Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation Ltd.

The petition was submitted on Friday when the trial came up for consideration in the court. Sriram Venkitaraman pointed out that the case remains void as there is no proof to prove that he was drunk. The court had conducted a hearing over the discharge petition filed by another accused Wafa Firoz.

Under the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, the discharge petition is the remedy that is granted to the person who has been maliciously charged. It is usually filed in warrant cases for serious crimes that are punishable with death or imprisonment more than 2 years. Sriram submitted the petition while the verdict over Wafa’s discharge petition is expected to be announced on Monday.

KM Basheer was run over by a car allegedly driven by Sriram at high speed in an inebriated state, near Museum Junction in Thiruvananthapuram in 2019. The accident and the botched probe that followed had resulted in a huge controversy. He was placed under suspension by the State government then. Sriram, a doctor, allowed police to collect his blood sample for examination nine hours after the accident and after getting himself admitted to a private hospital here. His arrest was recorded nearly 17 hours later.

The duo, Sriram and Wafa, a passenger in the car, were booked under sections 304 (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of an offence or giving false information) of the Indian Penal Code. They have also been charged under sections 184 (dangerous driving), 185, 188 of the Motor Vehicles Act. The charge sheet, filed before the Judicial First Class Magistrate court, has listed 100 witnesses and submitted 75 materials of evidence.



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