The government’s petition makes it clear that no trace of alcohol was found in Sriram’s blood sample.

Cancel Sriram IAS bail he lied to cops will hamper probe Kerala govt to HC
news Crime Wednesday, August 07, 2019 - 16:30

A day after the Judicial Magistrate of Thiruvananthapuram granted bail to Sriram Venkitaraman (32), an IAS officer under suspension, the Kerala government has approached the High Court asking for a cancellation of the bail. Sriram has been booked under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code, for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, for causing the death of a journalist named Basheer, by ramming his over-speeding car into the scribe’s bike.

The Kerala government, in its petition to the High Court, has said that the Magistrate has based his judgment solely on the fact that the Chemical Examiner's Laboratory in Thiruvananthapuram has not found traces of alcohol in Sriram’s blood sample. The government has said that the Magistrate has not considered the gravity of offence and that there was sufficient material to charge him under Section 304.

The petition filed by the Assistant Commissioner of Narcotics cell on behalf of the government says that Sriram misled the police by giving false statement that the vehicle was driven by his friend, Wafa, who is also the registered owner of the vehicle. Moreover, the Magistrate has failed to acknowledge that the accused is a doctor by qualification and an IAS officer in Kerala cadre and is therefore highly influential, the government says.

The petition says that though Sriram was taken to the General Hospital soon after the accident, a doctor there asked him to consult a surgeon and referred him to Medical College Hospital, Thiruvananthapuram, Surgery Casualty.

The doctor at GH also noted that he was smelling of alcohol. Despite the doctor referring him to the Medical College, Sriram went to KIMS Hospital, a private hospital without informing the police. It was only after 9.45 am that the police located him and were able to take his blood sample.

The government has alleged that this act by Sriram, who is well aware of its medical as well as legal aspects, in collusion with the doctors of KIMS hospital, was to destroy the evidence of his alcohol consumption.

The government has alleged that Sriram drove the car at high speed, well aware of the risk posed to others. He and Wafa, his passenger, lied to the police that she had driven the car. The petition also says that the bail was granted without taking into consideration the statements given by two witnesses who concurred that Sriram was driving at high speed and hit the motorcycle from behind. The two witnesses have also informed the police that Sriram was in an inebriated state.

The petition says that the tyres of the car Sriram was driving skidded for 17 meters and is a clear indication of the speed of the vehicle at the time of occurrence.

Arguing that Sriram being a Civil Service Officer can influence witnesses and tamper evidence, the Kerala government has asked the court to cancel the bail.

Though the government has asked the court to cancel bail, it has offered no explanation as to why alcohol content could not be traced in Sriram’s blood and whether delay on behalf of police officers in collecting the samples led to this.

Read: Kerala IAS officer Sriram gets bail in accident case, without spending a night in jail

Kerala IAS officer Sriram suspended from service after arrest in accident case

When icons fall off pedestals: How Kerala reacted to arrest of Sriram IAS

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