Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 12 (PTI) IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman, accused of driving a car in an inebriated condition and fatally knocking down a journalist here on August 3 last year, on Monday appearedbefore a local court which granted him bail in the case.
Earlier on September 18, a Judicial First Class Magistrate court here had asked the officer to appear in person after Venkitaraman failed to appear citing various reasons despite three notices being issued to him.
A charge sheet was filed in the court on February 1 this year against the IAS officer, arraigning him as the first accused in the case.
The court had issued notice to him as per section 209 of the CrPC.
Section 209 deals with transferring of a case to a Sessions court when an offence is triable exclusively by it.
'It was a procedural matter today.The case has been committed to the sessions court after the charge sheet was read out to the accused.
The next date of hearing will be decided by the sessions court,' a lawyer, familiar with the proceedings of the concerned case, told PTI.
In this case, the court had, after considering the chargesheet, observed that Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) would be chargeable against the IAS officer and it was triable by a sessions court.
Section 304 of IPC deals with punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Before transferring the case, the lower court needs to complete certain procedural formalities and those were delayed due to his failure to appear before the court thrice.
Wafa Feroze, his friend, who was also in the luxury car, is the second accused in the case and has been charged with abetting the officer to drive the car rashly.
She had been granted bail earlier.
The around 70-page charge sheet was filed before the Judicial First Class Magistrate court here by the Special Investigation Team of the Crime branch, which probed the case.
The charge sheet has listed 100 witnesses and submitted 75 materials of evidence.
It states that the 33-year-old officer was drunk and was behind the wheels in the over speeding car while returning from a private party on August 3 last year past midnight, police sources said.
The car hit journalist K M Basheer, who was on his motorcycle, killing him on the spot.
Venkitaraman, a doctor himself, allowed police to collect his blood sample for examination nine hours after the accident and after getting himself admitted to a private hospital here.
His arrest was recorded nearly 17 hours later.
The officer was shifted to the Medical college hospital after Basheer's family and media personnel protested over the 'five star treatment' being given to him at the private KIMS hospital.
Appointed Survey Director by the state cabinet in August 2019, Venkitaraman was booked under Sections 279 (rash driving on a public way) and 304 of the Indian Penal Code and damaging public property.
He was suspended from service and his driving licence cancelled.
Venkitaraman was reinstated in March this year and appointed as Joint Secretary, Health department. PTI RRT BN WELCOME BN WELCOME