A recent Madhya Pradesh High Court order, rejecting demand for a CBI probe into the multi-layered Professional Examination Board (PEB) scam, has revealed that the court is not monitoring the probe into all the admission and recruitment scams, as propagated by the state government, but only two.
There are eight PEB-related scams, out of which the high court is monitoring only PMT and Pre-PG (medical) admission scams, it has emerged. As of now, the Special Task Force (STF) is conducting investigation into various inter-linked scams.
A division bench of chief justice AM Khanwilkar and justice Alok Aradhe pronounced the judgement last week while disposing of seven public interest litigations ( PILs) filed mostly by Congress leaders, including party general secretary Digvijaya Singh.
The 96-page order quoting additional solicitor general Nageshwar Rao, who appeared on behalf of the state government said, "He submits that the crimes concerning samvida shala shikshak (contract school teachers) are not the subject matter of monitoring by this court. The subject matter of monitoring is only about the offences commonly known as PMT-VYAPAM Examination scam cases for admission to undergraduate and postgraduate courses in medical colleges."
Counsel for the petitioners, including KTS Tulsi, Indira Jaisingh, Vivek Tankha and Rajendra Tiwari, had raised questions like the STF not interrogating Union minister Uma Bharti despite her name appearing in statements of the accused, exempting RSS leaders S Sudarshan and Suresh Soni from the charge-sheet and questioning despite their names cropping up during investigation.
Not only the counsel appearing for the state government categorically said that recruitment scams were out of the purview of the court monitoring, the judges also substantiated the point when they said, "For the same reason, even the apprehension of the petitioner that the investigating agency may go slow on the investigation of PMT scam cases because of the possible involvement of someone from the office of the chief minister or the governor of the state with other crimes, is misplaced."
"In other words, the involvement of someone from the head of state in connection with criminal cases other than PMT-VYAPAM examination scam cases will be of no avail. Suffice it to note that in these proceedings, we are not called upon to consider the justness of investigation of those cases (other than PMT VYAPAM examination scam cases)," the bench said.
Senior counsel Rajendra Tiwari, who appeared for one of the petitioners, said the chief justice said it himself in the courtroom that "the monitoring related only PMT scam."
Additional advocate general P Kaurav, who usually appears in the case for the state government, PEB and STF, said, "I have not gone through the order. I would only be able to give an opinion only after I have read it." STF chief Sudhir Sahi, when contacted, put down the phone without commenting.