The Madhya Pradesh special task force on Tuesday named governor Ramnaresh Yadav in the multi-layered examination and recruitment scam, officials said, the biggest name to be dragged into the state’s most high-profile scandal.
Though there was no official word from the STF, officials confirmed that an FIR has been registered against Yadav for allegedly recommending the names of three candidates for recruitment as forest guards. He allegedly took Rs four lakh each from the candidates.
An STF communique in the evening too did not mention any names and just said there are 101 accused in the 2013 forest guards scam, including 87 candidates.
Yadav is said to be the first incumbent governor to be booked for corruption. He allegedly took Rs four lakh each from the three candidates.
According to legal experts, though the STF has booked the governor for his alleged role in the scam, it would have to obtain Presidential sanction to charge sheet Yadav.
Over 1,800 people are behind bars in the scam which took place in the professional examination board (MPPEB) that conducts various examinations for admissions and recruitment to different courses and government jobs.
The scam saw candidates rig examinations through scamsters who employed imposters to write test papers, manipulated sitting arrangements and even supplied forged answer sheets.
STF sources said that the governor's name appeared in an excel sheet recovered from former PEB system analyst Nitin Mahindra
Two FIRs in the forest guard scam have already been registered and the governor’s name figures in the third FIR along with names of other accused, including four PEB officials, former minister Laxmikant Sharma and mining baron Sudhir Sharma.
The governor has been under pressure to resign ever since the name of his son appeared in a supplementary charge sheet in another scam related to an eligibility test conducted by PEB for recruitment of contract teachers. His former private assistant Dhanraj Yadav is also in jail in connection with the scam.
However, the veteran Congress leader from Uttar Pradesh had held his ground despite the opposition Congress demanding his ouster. The Congress had also boycotted the governor’s address on the opening day of the assembly’s budget session on February 18.
The Congress has alleged that chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is also involved in the scam though his name was “removed” from the excel sheet recovered from PEB officials.