Shoddy medical test does not mean Sriram was not drunk, notes court; discharges Wafa

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Sriram Venkitaraman and Wafa Firoze | Photos: Mathrubhumi

Kochi: The Kerala High Court has strongly criticised IAS officer Sriram Venkataraman in the case involving the death of journalist KM Basheer due to alleged drunken driving. The court has maintained the charge of culpable homicide amounting to murder (Section 304A) against Sriram, while exempting Wafa Firoze from the case. The court has also pointed out that Sriram attempted to tamper with evidence.

The court expressed dissatisfaction with the test report submitted by the investigation team, which showed no trace of alcohol in Sriram's body. The court criticised this, stating that the improper conduct of the test does not prove that Sriram was not drunk. The court further emphasised that even though the medical report does not provide clarity on the quantity of alcohol in Sriram's body, the charge of homicide cannot be dismissed, considering the statements and evidence indicating that Sriram was intoxicated and the vehicle was overspeeding.

The incident occurred in August 2019 when Sriram and his friend Wafa were travelling in a car that hit KM Basheer's motorbike. There were allegations of police officers delaying Sriram's medical examination in the case.

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