CM Chouhan gave Vyapam suspect key role in MP finance panel

  • Ashutosh Shukla, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Jul 16, 2015 00:52 IST

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had hastily ordered the appointment of Malay Rai, the then chief of the tainted Professional Examination Board (PEB), as a state finance commission member over phone from South Africa even though the latter was at the centre of the raging Vyapam scandal, an RTI query has revealed.

According to RTI papers obtained by Vyapam scam whistleblower Ajay Dubey, the chief minister had ordered Rai's nomination over phone while he was in South Africa to invite businessmen and industrialists for a summit in his state. Rai's appointment papers were signed by Chouhan on his return. The papers are in HT's possession.

Rai was chairman of the MP professional examination board, or Vyapam, in 2009-10, and the order (dated June 6, 2014) was issued even as the Vyapam scam was being investigated.

Talking to HT, Dubey said it was curious that chief minister had to make Rai's appointment in finance commission over phone.

"What was the hurry? Who was pressuring the chief minister? Since it happened at the same time when former minister Laxmikant Sharma was arrested, such questions are natural," he said.

Dubey added that Rai was never given a clean chit in the PEB scam.

Watch: The A to Z of the Vyapam scam

The Chouhan government is under pressure following mysterious deaths of accused and witnesses in the examination scandal. Faced with the pressure of an unrelenting opposition, Chouhan requested the Supreme Court to order a CBI probe into the scandal -- in line with the Opposition demand. The central agency has taken up the probe, and registered two cases on Wednesday.

More than 2,000 people have been arrested in connection with the scam since it came to light in 2013, and as many as 40 people with links to the scam have died mysteriously.

Many politicians, bureaucrats and middlemen are said to be involved in the scam which, according to police, involved scamsters employing imposters to write tests conducted by the MPPEB for admission to professional courses and recruitment in government jobs.

The scamsters also supplied forged answer sheets by bribing officials between 2012 and 2013.

Read: Aides 'examine' Vyapam evidence to prepare CM Chouhan's defence

CBI files first two FIRs in MP's Vyapam scam

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