Kochi (Kerala), Nov 25 (PTI) Kerala High Court on Friday stayed a lower court order dropping the culpable homicide charge against IAS officer Sreeram Venkitaraman, an accused in a road accident case that resulted in the death of journalist K M Basheer in 2019. Justice Ziyad Rahman A A stayed for two months the order of the Sessions Court here, while accepting a criminal revision petition filed by the State government.
The court issued notice to the IAS officer and his woman-friend, whose car he was driving causing the accident.
The lower court recently dropped the charge under section 304 of the IPC which deals with culpable homicide. However, the court said other charges, including Sections 304 A (causing death by negligence) and 279 (rash and negligent driving) stand. Venkitaraman was drunk while driving the car and fatally knocking down the journalist in Thiruvananthapuram in August 2019.
The car belonged to his friend Wafa Feroze, who was also travelling with him and is the second accused in the case. She was charged with abetting the officer to drive the car rashly.
Police charge sheet said the officer was drunk and was behind the wheel in the speeding car while returning from a private party past midnight.
The car hit journalist Basheer, who was on his motorcycle, killing him on the spot.
Venkitaraman, a doctor himself, allowed police to collect his blood sample for examination nine hours after the mishap and after getting himself admitted to a private hospital here.
His arrest was recorded nearly 17 hours later.
He was suspended from service and his driving licence cancelled. Venkitaraman, suspended two days after the incident, was reinstated in March 2020 and appointed as Joint Secretary- Health.
Later in July this year, he was appointed as the Alappuzha Collector, but was removed due to criticism from the public and political parties. He is currently appointed as the general manager of Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation Limited. PTI COR RRT NVG NVG