THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A local court here on Thursday issued notices to Sriram Venkitaraman, IAS, and Wafa Firoz, first and second accused respectively in the drunk driving incident that caused the death of journalist KM Basheer in the wee hours of August 3. The notice, issued by the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court, Thiruvananthapuram, directed the duo to appear before it on February 24.
Police had submitted the chargesheet in the case on Feburary 1. Wafa Firoz, the owner and co-driver, was charged with abetment to crime. Sriram was allegedly driving the speeding car when the accident occured. He is currently under suspension. Earlier, a panel headed by the chief secretary had recommended that the government reinstate him in service as the police had failed to submit a chargesheet. However, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had rejected the recommendation and ordered that the suspension be extended. The chargesheet was filed before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court III, Thiruvananthapuram. As per initial information, the 66-page chargesheet covers 84 documents and mentioned 100 witnesses. Cases have been charged under section 304, 201 and MV Act section 184, 185 and 188.
It was after midnight on August 3, 2019 that journalist KM Basheer, bureau chief of Malayalam daily Siraj, was killed in a road accident in the state capital. His motorcycle was knocked down by a car, allegedly driven by the IAS officer.