Kerala: IAS officer accused of killing scribe gets bail

 IAS officer in Kerala Sriram Venkitaraman. DH Photo

 IAS officer in Kerala Sriram Venkitaraman, who was arrested for drunken driving leading to a scribe's killing, has been granted bail by a magistrate court in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday.

During the bail plea hearing, the court asked the police to produce evidence of drunken driving by the IAS officer. Failure of the police to provide this was said to be the main reason for granting bail.

Alleging laxity on part of the police, journalists took out a march to Kerala Police headquarters on Tuesday evening. Even after four days of the accident, the police did not collect Sriram's fingerprints, they alleged.

Alcohol content above the legal limits was reportedly not detected in Sriram's blood sample, as there was a delay in collecting blood samples. The court also rejected a plea of the police for custody of Sriram for evidence collection. 

The management of Malayalam daily Siraj, where the accident victim K M Basheer was working, filed a petition seeking dopamine test on the IAS officer to test the use of drugs. 

Police sources said that an appeal would be filed against the lower court order granting bail to Sriram. The IAS officer was placed under suspension by the Kerala government on Monday.

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