Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Friday stayed the order of a lower court in the state capital city discharging IAS officer, Sriram Venkitaraman of culpable homicide charge in a 2019 road accident case which resulted in the death of journalist, K.M. Basheer.
The stay is for two months.
The court issued the notice to Venkitaraman on the plea moved by the state government challenging the lower court’s order.
Venkitaraman was driving a car that rammed into Basheer, killing him.
The police allegedly found Venkitaraman in an inebriated state after the accident.
But following a significant delay in collecting his blood sample for testing the alcohol level as Venkitaraman had managed to check himself out of the government hospital where the police had taken him.
Subsequently, a case was registered against Venkitaraman and the passenger in the car at the time, one Wafa Firoz, by the Museum Police, Thiruvananthapuram.
In October this year, the lower court discharged Venkitaraman of the offences under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of commission of offence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Section 185 of the Motor Vehicles Act (MV Act), and Section 3(1)(2) of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.
However, the Court framed charges against Venkitaraman under Sections 279 (rash driving) and 304(A) (causing death by negligence) of the IPC and Section 184 of the Motor Vehicle Act.
The present appeal moved by the state said that the order was passed by the court without considering the materials produced before it.
“The court below without considering the materials produced before the court exceeded the jurisdiction in holding that 1st accused did not drive the vehicle with either an intention to kill or with the knowledge that his act might result in the death of the deceased and also held that act of the 1st accused was merely a rash and negligent act within the meaning of Section 304 A of Indian Penal Code,” the plea said.