Sriram is accused of hitting and killing journalist KM Basheer in a road accident on August 3, 2019.

news Court Friday, February 14, 2020 - 10:27

The Judicial First Class Magistrate Court in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday issued notices to Sirram Venkitaraman and Wafa Firoz, first and second accused in the drunken driving case that caused the death of journalist KM Basheer, to appear before it on February 24, reports The New Indian Express.

35-year-old Basheer who was bureau chief of the Suprabhatham daily in Thiruvananthapuram was hit by a car driven by Sriram in the wee hours of August 3, 2019. Sriram, who had returned from abroad after higher studies was about to rejoin service as Director of Survey and Land Records.

Sriram, while driving the car, is alleged to have been in an inebriated state during the time of the accident.

Police filed the chargesheet in the case on February 1, six months after the accident.

The chargesheet was filed under section 304 of the IPC-culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Sriram is the main accused in the case. His friend Wafa Firoz was reportedly seated next to him when the accident took place and she has been named as the second accused.

According to eyewitnesses, Sriram had emerged from the car in a drunken state and even refused to take the breathalyser test. The police too are accused of delaying examination of his blood sample to check alcohol levels in his body.

It was nine hours after the accident that a blood test was conducted on Sriram.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in January ordered for an extension of suspension period of Sriram by another three months. The CM turned down recommendation by Chief Secretary Tom Jose to reinstate Sriram when his suspension period was set to finish. He was placed on suspension on August 5, which was later extended.