Journo's death: the crime branch accuses a Kerala IAS officer of drunk driving

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Two days after the government extended its period of suspension, the IAS officer received another setback on Saturday with the crime branch presenting a charge sheet against him in the case related to the death of the journalist. The crime branch has accused Sriram of wrongful death that does not amount to murder, driving under the influence of alcohol, destruction of public property and destruction of evidence.

The crime branch has also accused Sriram's friend as the second defendant in the case, accusing her of the crime of inciting the crime. Sriram was driving Wafa's car with her in the passenger seat when he hit Basheer's motorcycle in front of the Public Works office here, killing him instantly.

The charge sheet was presented by the superintendent of the A Shanavas crime branch before a first-class judicial magistrate - III here. The investigation officer has listed around 100 witnesses, 70 material objects and 80 documents as evidence.

The accident related to the case took place in the first hours of August 3. The fact is that Sriram, while returning from a drunken party, took the wheel with force of Wafa and drove the car at high speed, eventually causing the accident. The accident happened just 200 meters from the museum's police station.

Sources in the investigation team said Sriram was charged with the crime of drunk driving based on witness accounts, including people who stopped at the scene of the accident and the government doctor who noticed the smell of alcohol when Sriram was taken to General Hospital Shortly after the accident. He was admitted to a private hospital in the city and refused to give a blood sample for a blood test, which caused a half-day delay in performing the procedure and the test result was negative.

The sections concerning the destruction of evidence were invoked when the investigation team discovered that there was a clear attempt by Sriram to evade legal action, especially when Wafa appeared before the local police claiming that it was she who was driving the car. . Sections under the Public Property Damage Prevention Law were invoked when Sriram allegedly damaged the peripheral wall of the Public Works office, as well as a heritage lamp on the road pavement when the car crashed.

Recently, Sriram, who is suspended due to an pending investigation, asked the government to revoke his suspension citing the delay in the completion of the investigation. However, the government rejected it and extended the suspension to three more months.