Kerala journalist death: IAS Sriram Venkitaraman was not driving the car, counsel tells HC
Counsel tells court that IAS officer’s injuries and car’s damage were on left side, not on driver’s side; verdict on plea on Tuesday
Published: 10th August 2019 04:32 AM | Last Updated: 10th August 2019 08:15 AM | A+A A-
KOCHI: The counsel for Sriram Venkitaraman, arrested in connection with the road accident which caused the death of a journalist in Thiruvananthapuram, has come up with a new theory indicating that the IAS officer was not at the wheel during the accident.
His counsel, S Rajeev, told the Kerala High Court bench that Sriram had sustained an injury on his left hand and other parts on his left side, while the driver’s side of the car was not damaged in the crash.
The car’s left side was damaged, while the person who was reportedly sitting on the left side sustained no injuries.
To this, the court asked the counsel, “Are you trying to establish that somebody else was driving the vehicle?” It was a matter to be inquired by the police, Sriram’s counsel replied.
After hearing the arguments of the prosecution and the defence, the court reserved its order on the petition filed by the government seeking to cancel the bail granted to Sriram by the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court, Thiruvananthapuram.
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According to Sriram’s counsel, there was no material to prove that he was under the influence of alcohol.
The state government pointed out that the IAS officer had committed culpable homicide not amounting to murder by causing the death of KM Basheer by driving a car in a rash and negligent manner and in an inebriated state.
He drove through the Vellayambalam-Palayam road with the clear knowledge that by driving the car in such a condition would cause a fatal accident.
The witnesses deposed that the car was driven at high speed. The car’s tyre marks could be seen for a length of 17 metres from the place of occurrence, which was a clear indication of the vehicle’s speed.
The state government informed the court that it would conduct a crash test to ascertain the vehicle’s speed.
The speed limit in Kowdiar area is 50km. Police are collecting more details and evidence, the prosecution said. The court asked the prosecution whether the police questioned the accused.
The prosecution replied that there were reports Sriram had retrograde amnesia. Since he is in the hospital, the permission of doctors is necessary.
To this, Sriram’s counsel said the submission regarding amnesia was without any material evidence. Sriram’s counsel then said custodial interrogation of the accused was not needed and he was willing to cooperate with the probe.
The court would pronounce its verdict in the plea on Tuesday.