Kerala: Arrested IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman suspended for killing journalist in car accident
Meanwhile, a lab report stated that there was no alcoholic content in Venkitaraman’s blood and the report has been given to the police.
The Kerala government on Monday suspended Indian Administrative Services officer Sriram Venkitaraman, two days after he rammed his car into a two-wheeler in Thiruvananthapuram and that resulted in the death of journalist K Muhammed Basheer, PTI reported.
The IAS officer was arrested on Saturday after the accident and was remanded by the judicial magistrate for 14 days. He later admitted himself to a private hospital and was shifted to the Government Medical College on Sunday after the government came under intense criticism for allowing Venkitaraman to stay in the luxury of a top-notch hospital despite the “gravity of his crime”.
Chief Secretary Tom Jose issued the order and suspended the 33-year old officer.
“The Government views the matter seriously and accordingly Shri Sriram V, IAS (KL 2013) is placed under suspension with immediate effect under Rule 3(3) of the All India Services (Discipline & Appeal) Rules, 1969”, the order read.
The police have informed the government that they had booked Venkitaraman for culpable homicide not amounting to murder for having caused the accident in an inebriated state, The Hindu reported. The provision provides for a jail term of up to 10 years.
However, a lab report came out earlier stated that there was no alcoholic content in his blood. The blood sample was tested by the police analytical laboratory and has been handed over to the police, Manorama Online reported on Monday.
It is reported that the delay in collecting blood samples led to the negative report. It remains doubtful if murder charges against him are still applicable.
Witnesses said that Venkitaraman seemed to be drunk, and was driving the car rashly while a woman was also in the car. The woman had testified before a magistrate that the bureaucrat appeared drunk and had insisted on driving the vehicle at high speed despite her protests.
Basheer died on the spot as his two-wheeler was crushed between the car and a wall. The accident occurred around 1 am.