HC upholds 'Culpable Homicide' charges against Sriram Venkitaraman in drunk driving case

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Sriram Venkitaraman | Photo:Aji VK|Mathrubhumi

Kochi: IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman faced a significant setback as the Kerala High Court rejected a lower court's ruling to drop charges of Culpable Homicide (Section 304) in a drunken driving case of 2019. The court upheld the charges by emphasizing that Venkitaraman was driving at an excessive speed during the accident.

The Kerala Government moved a Criminal Revision Petition in the High Court after an Additional Sessions Court dropped Section 304 charge against Venkitaraman and his friend, Wafa Firoz, in the alleged drunk driving case relating to the death of journalist KM Basheer.

KM Basheer, bureau chief of a vernacular daily, died after a car allegedly driven by Sriram Venkitaraman rammed into his bike in Thiruvananthapuram in the late hours of August 3, 2019.

Despite the allegations, Venkitaraman denied the claims and said he was not drunk at the time of the incident. He highlighted that the medical report presented by the investigation team does not show any evidence of alcohol in his body.

The around 70-page charge sheet was filed before the Judicial First Class Magistrate court here by the Special Investigation Team of the Crime Branch, which probed the case.

The charge sheet has listed 100 witnesses and submitted 75 materials of evidence.

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