New Delhi: A couple of days after the Supreme Court termed the Vyapam scam shocking, the court on Thursday ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the admission and recruitment racket in Madhya Pradesh.
Two days ago, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, whose government has been badly bruised by the controversy, called for a CBI inquiry, attributing his decision to “a wish to honor public sentiment”. Kumar was helping the state police in its investigation. The agencies probing the scam should also be covered.
“I will definitely study the Vyapam subject”, Jha told reporters when quizzed if he would make a film on the massive scam involving recruitment done by Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB), or Vyapam, its Hindi acronym.
Subsequent arrests revealed that candidates had bribed politicians and state officials to procure high rankings in these exams.
Between them, the STF and SIT are said to have arrested more than 2,000 people, majority students and parents, and some middlemen.
CPJ is investigating the deaths of more than 20 others to determine whether they are work-related. The court also agreed to hear a petition seeking Yadav’s removal.
The scandal hit the front pages of newspapers once again last weekend after the death of an investigative journalist who had gone to Madhya Pradesh to speak with witnesses. Numerous dead were younger than 40 and autopsy reports in most cases were inconclusive.
Ex- Union home minister P Chidambaram insisted that Madhya Pradesh government recommend a CBI investigation before the “next unnatural death”, stressing the “buck stops with the executive”.
Singh had been looking into Damor’s death when he died earlier this week.
Asked whether he would demand that Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav, who is allegedly involved in the scam, should quit, he said that he would “appeal” to the Governor to resign instead of making the demand.
The move drew sharp criticism from the supreme court.
“The Attorney General (AG) on instruction states that MP govt has no objection whatsoever for transferring the investigation of criminal cases relating to Vyapam scam to the CBI and the cases related to deaths of those allegedly connected with the scam for free and fair probe”. He wondered why no action was initiated against the MP Governor Ram Naresh yadav despite FIR while a number of Governors were transferred by the ruling BJP soon after assuming power at the centre.
The Congress used the supreme court order to pile pressure on Mr Chouhan.
The Chauhan government has been accused of systematically blocking the investigation, with the Chief Minister insisting on presiding over the investigation himself.
However, Mr Rai is concerned that political forces might influence the CBI investigigation. The Supreme Court, however, did not like the MP HC’s putting the Vyapam scam ball in the apex court.