HC rejects petition against bail to Sriram Venkitaraman

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea seeking cancellation of the bail granted to suspended IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman, who was arrested for alleged drunken driving that caused the death of a journalist.

Dismissing the plea moved by the state government, challenging a magistrate court's order granting bail to Sriram, Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan said there was no need for the officer's custodial interrogation in connection with the case.

The court also observed that there was no material evidence to suggest that the IAS officer was drunk while driving.

It, however, held that there were faults in the police probe in the case.

The police did not display professionalism in probing the case, the court said, adding that there was a delay on the part of the investigation officer in collecting the blood sample of Sriram.

The high court had, on August 7, refused to stay the magistrate court's order granting bail to the suspended Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer.

In its appeal, the Kerala government had sought cancellation of the bail granted to him by the Judicial Magistrate's (First Class) court at Thiruvananthapuram.

The magistrate's court had, on August 6, granted bail to Sriram, after considering his blood samples report, which was found negative for alcohol content, and the case diary of the police.

Sriram, who was treated at the Government Medical College Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram, was discharged on Monday.

In its appeal, the state government had alleged that 33-year-old Sriram had misled the police and tried to destroy evidence of his alcohol consumption.