Kerala High Court upholds bail granted to IAS officer Sriram

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Kochi: The Kerala High Court has okayed the bail granted to IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman by a lower court over an accident case in which journalist K M Basheer was killed earlier this month. The plea filed by the state government challenging the bail was also rejected by the HC on Tuesday.

There is no need to question Sriram in police custody, the HC observed while also pointing out lapses in the inquiry.

Sriram was granted bail by the magistrate court at Thiruvananthapuram last Wednesday in his first plea itself due to the failure of the police in presenting necessary proof for alcohol consumption and speeding.

Despite the court remanding him, Sriram got bail without even spending a day in jail. A lab report that found no trace of alcohol in his blood was key to granting the bail.

Injured in the accident that occurred around 12.55 am on August 3, Sriram was under treatment at the Medical College Hospital at Thiruvananthapuram and was discharged on Monday. Doctors have advised him four weeks' rest.

Sriram was admitted to the MCH around 9 pm on August 4 after he was remanded. The accused, who was admitted to the police cell, was moved to the trauma care ICU of the superspeciality wing of the public hospital within hours. Initially Sriram who was taken to the District General Hospital had sought treatment at a private hospital.

On Wednesday, the police will inspect the event data recorder (EDR) of the car that was involved in the accident. This is being done to ascertain the car's speed at the time of the accident.

This EDR, akin to the black box in planes, can give data on car's speed and the direction during the time of the accident. (In-vehicle data recorders include both crash data recorders and journey data recorders. EDRs collect data over a period before and after the crash. They are set on the airbag control module and will stop functioning once the airbag has deployed during an impact.)

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