Police chargesheet against IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman soon

Lack of medical certificate on drunk driving a setback

Updated - November 28, 2021 10:24 am IST

Published - August 28, 2019 07:08 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

 IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman

IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman

The Kerala Police will soon chargesheet IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman on suspicion of having driven the car that caused the death of journalist K.M. Basheer in a drunk driving-related road accident early August 3. They expect to submit their final report in court within a fortnight.

In the absence of a statutory medical certificate that Mr. Venkitaraman was intoxicated at the time of the crash, investigators said they were constrained to bank on the testimonies of doctors, first responders, police officers and witnesses to prove their case of culpable homicide against the young bureaucrat.

The government doctor who attended to Mr. Venkitaraman’s injuries at the General Hospital (GH) her had attested that he had smelled alcohol on the breath of the patient and perceived him to be drunk. Mr. Venkitaraman’s woman co-passenger had stated the same under oath in front of a magistrate. The police officers who responded to the accident are also prime prosecution witnesses. They also faced the charge of having bungled the investigation by delaying the mandatory blood test. However, there was no evidence that the officers had sabotaged the probe against Mr. Venkitaraman deliberately.


Investigators said they regarded Mr. Venkitaraman’s alleged actions after the accident as incriminating in nature. The bureaucrat had initially tried to suggest that it was his woman friend who was at the wheel. He later defied a police directive, refused to take a blood test and got himself admitted to a private hospital.

The investigators alleged that Mr. Venkitaraman had used his bureaucratic heft to get himself admitted in the intensive care of two hospitals though doctors at both the institutions had testified that his injuries did not warrant such attention. The police said the actions of Mr. Venkitaraman appeared to satisfy Section 205 of the Motor Vehicle Act, which pertained to “presumption of unfitness to drive” in the event an accused refused to have his or her blood tested for alcohol presence after a lethal accident.

Crash report

The police have directed the automaker to submit its crash investigation report to determine the speed of the car at the time of the impact and the actions of the driver at the controls.

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