CBI to probe Vyapam; SC notice to MP Guv, BJP Govt

Rajat Kain

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File photo of Madhya Pradesh governor Ram Naresh Yadav. Photo – PTI

Hearing the batch of Public Interest Litigations (PILs) in the infamous ‘Vyapam Scam’, the apex court has issued notice seeking replies from the MP government, MP Governor Ram Naresh Yadav and even the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre. The court has also transferred the probe to the CBI as sought by the petitioners. All the concerned respondents have been given four weeks to file their replies.

State Governor Ram Naresh Yadav has especially been issued a notice on the petition seeking his removal for he too was named in the FIR in the past. The FIR was later quashed by the MP High Court. According to the allegations made by the whistleblowers in their petition, Governor Ram Naresh Yadav too has been complicit in the entire scam.

Earlier on Tuesday, Supreme Court had set 9th July for hearing a batch of PILs seeking CBI probe in the scam. The PILs were filed by a group of lawyers and activists from Madhya Pradesh. Congress general secretary and former CM of Madhya Pradesh Digvijaya Singh too had filed a PIL in the same.

Coming down heavily on the BJP-led state government and even on the Madhya Pradesh High Court, the Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice of India HL Dattu observed, “Instead of deciding whether CBI probe should be there, the Madhya Pradesh High Court washed its hands off and put the ball in our court”.

The Supreme Court, however, is yet to decide on who will monitor the probe.

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New Delhi: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in New Delhi. Photo – PTI

In their submission, the MP government too nodded for the CBI probe. On Tuesday CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, battling the political pressure and a fragile public perception, had recommended the CBI probe, which till then was investigated by the state police Special Task Force (STF).

The matter has assumed serious proportions after the spate of more than 40 deaths of those linked with the scam. Since last week 5 people, connected with the huge scam, have been found dead at different places in Madhya Pradesh. The opposition Congress party has been claiming that all the deaths are connected with Vyapam.

This Monday, a 25-year-old woman trainee sub-inspector, who incidentally got into the police force through an exam conducted by Vyapam, was found dead in the lake adjacent to the Police Training Academy (PTA) in Sagar district headquarters. And same day in the evening, a 40-year-old constable Ramakant Panda was found hanging from a ceiling fan at his residence in Orchha, near Jhansi. Local Congress leaders have claimed that the deceased constable had once been questioned by the STF probing Vyapam case.

On Saturday last week, Akshay Singh, a journalist working with a leading news channel based in the national capital Delhi had died under mysterious circumstances in Jhabua town of Madhya Pradesh while working on the story of Vyapam scam. 38 year old Singh collapsed soon after interviewing the parents of one of the victims, who too was found dead after her name figured in the massive admission and recruitment scandal.

That was followed by the mystery death of the Dean of Jabalpur medical college, Dr. Arun Sharma, who was said to be probing fake examinees in the scam, was found dead in a Delhi hotel early on Sunday. Dr. Sharma had taken over as the Dean of college just one year ago after the mystery death of the then Dean DK Sakalle. Like Dr. Sharma, Mr. Sakalle, too was inquiring into admissions of candidates for whom proxies had allegedly appeared in the Pre-Medical Test (PMT). Sakalle was found burnt at his residence.

Previous week too, the two accused named in the scam, Narendra Singh Tomar and Dr. Rajendra Arya, had died in mysterious circumstances.