Two Kerala cadre IAS officers, Sriram Venkitaraman and Asif K. Yusuf, who were posted as election observers in Tamil Nadu have been called back by the Election commission of India to Kerala.
A Kerala-based newspaper group, “Siraj” had petitioned the Chief electoral officer Kerala to call Sriram back.
An FIR had been registered against Sriram in a case related to the death of the Siraj newspaper’s Thiruvananthapuram bureau chief K.M. Basheer in the early hours of August 3, 2019. It was alleged that Sriram, who was driving a car under the influence of alcohol, had hit Basheer and killed him instantly.
Asif K. Yusuf is facing criminal charges on furnishing non-creamy layer certificate with fudged income details to claim OBC reservation for getting into the civil services. Asif has been replaced by Kerala Ayush secretary Dr. Sharmila Mary Joseph IAS, while Venkitaraman has been replaced by Jaffer Malik IAS.
It is to be noted that election commission guidelines prevent officers with tainted background being sent on election duty as observers.