Thiruvananthapuram: IAS officer, Sreeram Venkitaraman, booked for drunken driving and killing journalist KM Basheer, has been served an ultimatum to appear in person before the court on 12 October.
The order by First Class Magistrate court, Thiruvananthapuram comes in the wake of the failure of the accused to show up despite being summoned three times. The second accused Wafa Feroz had appeared in person before the court and secured bail.
The charge against Sreeram is of driving under the influence of alcohol at high speed and causing the death of journalist KM Basheer. Although witnesses had deposed that the inebriated Sreeram was at the wheels, the police was initially reluctant to charge a case on that basis.
Further, the badly injured Sreeram did not agree to be subjected to alcohol test at hospital, refused to be admitted to the government hospital and made his way to a private hospital where he got admitted. By the time the police did the breath analyser and tested his blood, it was too late for traces of alcohol to remain in his blood – which drew much flak against the police.
Sreeram's initial plea about Wafa being the driver at that time was to dodge the charge, but that was denied by Wafa. He had also pleaded inability to recall events of that night due to amnesia. The IAS officer in Kerala state cadre was subsequently taken back into service, based on administrative procedure, which again had created controversy.