The State government has removed IAS officer Sriram Venkitaraman from the post of District Collector, Alappuzha.
Mr. Venkitaraman is facing trial in an alcohol-impaired driving accident that resulted in the death of journalist K.M. Basheer in 2019.
The Congress and the Kerala Muslim Jamaath had protested his appointment, ignoring his indictment in the sensational case. The Congress had organised a sit-in protest outside the Alappuzha district headquarters.
More recently, the Jamaath had marched to the Secretariat demanding his removal. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had initially said that Central service rules mandated a minimum tenure as District Collector for IAS officers.
However, the Congress protested that Mr. Venkitaraman, as an accused in a criminal case, lacked the moral right to adjudicate as the district magistrate. It warned it would boycott the Collector.
It was unclear whether Mr. Venkitaraman participated in the disaster preparedness meeting chaired by Mr. Vijayan at 4 p.m. on Monday.
The government has appointed Mr. Venkitaraman as General Manager, Kerala State Civil Supplies Corporation.
It has nominated V.R.K. Teja Mylavarapu, currently Director, Scheduled Castes Development Department, as the new Collector of Alappuzha.