Bhopal: Teacher-turned-mining baron Sudhir Sharma — wanted in the multi-layered MP Professional Examination Board (PEB) scam — surrendered in court on Friday after evading arrest for over six months.
Sharma, a BJP leader said to be close to RSS functionaries, surrendered to the chief judicial magistrate Pankaj Singh Maheshwari.
While Sharma's name figured in both sub-inspector and constable recruitment scam-2012, the STF arrested him in connection with the constable recruitment scam.
The court asked the STF to produce Sharma before it within 24 hours and sought a report on the sub-inspectors recruitment scam.
STF sources said the names of four candidates for the post of sub-inspector and over ten candidates for the post of constable were recommended by Sharma to the former MPPEB controller of examinations Pankaj Trivedi.
Sources further said Sharma, who was the officer on special duty (OSD) to former minister Laxmikant Sharma, had links with the MPPEB officials including
Trivedi and system analysis wing officials.
His name also figured in scams related to the recruitment of contract teachers (Grade-1, 2 and 3), food inspectors and transport constables.
However, as the transport constable recruitment scam is still under investigation, the STF is yet to register any case in this connection.
As the STF is likely to demand Sharma's police remand on Saturday, he may confront Laxmikant Sharma and other jailed former officials of the PEB.
Sharma was given an ultimatum by the chief judicial magistrate asking him to be present in the court before July 28. So, he reached the court with his family members at 11.30am and surrendered. "I am innocent and have complete trust in judiciary. I strongly believe that I will get justice," he said while being escorted out of court. His major concern while being sent to STF custody was if he could have mineral water during the custody.
Earlier, Sharma had appeared before the STF twice, first on December 23, 2013 and later on February 8. On December 23, he was accompanied by Laxmikant Sharma to the STF headquarters where they were quizzed and allowed to go.
After February 8, the STF served several notices on Sudhir Sharma to appear at its headquarters but he never turned up.
As Sharma went missing, the STF announced a cash reward of Rs 5,000 for his arrest. The court proclaimed him an absconder and gave an ultimatum to him asking him to appear before the court before July 21.
When Sharma did not appear before the court till July 21, the STF sought permission to attach Sharma's property. But his lawyer appeared before the court on his behalf on July 21 and objected to the STF action, demanding extension of the last date for Sharma to appear before the court. During the past six months, Sharma tried to get anticipatory bail from the district court, high court and the Supreme Court but his applications were rejected.