Controversial IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman has been removed from the post of election observer in Tamil Nadu and returned to Kerala. The decision came soon after it was found that laws, which explain that officials accused in criminal cases are not to be appointed as election officers, have been breached.
Apart from Sriram, Asif K Yusuf has also been recalled back to Kerala. The latter is currently under investigation for allegedly procuring a fake income certificate to obtain his IAS. The recalled officers were replaced by Sharmila Mary Joseph and Jaffar Malik. Sriram was tasked with monitoring the Thiruvaika Nagar and Egmore Assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu.
The appointment of Sriram Venkitaraman— the first accused in the murder case of journalist KM Basheer — as the election observer created controversies in the state. Siraj Management — the newspaper where KM Basheer had been working before his untimely death — had lodged a complaint with the Central Election Commission against the move. The complaint stated that the appointment of an officer, who is the first accused in the Bashir murder case, was illegal.