IAS officer Sriram’s posting in health department as COVID-19 special officer raises eyebrows

The sleuths had relied heavily on the statements of a government doctor to validate the claim that he was drunk.

Published: 23rd March 2020 03:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd March 2020 03:59 AM   |  A+A-

IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman

Suspended IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman (File Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The reinduction of Sriram Venkitaraman to the service as Joint Secretary in the Health department has raised a few eyebrows, as some of the witnesses in the case pertaining to drink-driving — which led to the death of scribe KM Basheer — are doctors. Last month, the Crime Branch (CB) had filed the chargesheet indicting the IAS officer for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and driving under the influence of alcohol, among a host of other charges.The CB had listed about 100 people as witnesses, of which about five are doctors.

The sleuths had relied heavily on the statements of a government doctor to validate the claim that he was drunk.The doctor was on duty when the IAS officer was taken to the general hospital for medical examination, just after the accident. However, since the police failed to subject the officer to a medical test within the stipulated time, they failed to obtain a certificate to prove the same. Instead, they recorded the statement of the doctor who said Sriram smelled of alcohol when he was brought to the hospital.

The rest of the doctors listed as witnesses were from a private hospital and the Government Medical College Hospital here. It is inferred that posting the officer in the Health department could pave way for him to arm-twist doctors, who had given statements against him.

Meanwhile, KPCC chief Mullappally Ramachandran said the government was exploiting the present situation to pursue its immoral activities.“The decision to reinduct Sriram is an example for that,” he said. There were criticisms that officials had tried to destroy evidence to protect the culprit and the chief minister should explain the reasons for his hasty reinduction, he added.

India Matters


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