Following reports in the media that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has not found any “political conspiracy” or evidence of an “organized syndicate” in the Vyapam scam, the investigation agency clarified that probe was still on in the case and it had not been finalized.
The CBI’s statement came within hours of Congress, which along with some other opposition parties have demanded the resignation of the CM over the scandal, reacting to the story.
The CBI in its statement, issued on Wednesday, said, “CBI wishes to clarify that the heading and certain contents attributed to top CBI official in the news item are totally speculative and misleading. It is again reiterated that the investigation is still continuing in Vyapam related cases and has not been finalised. Any news report indicating that any conclusion has been reached during investigation is speculative and presumptuous and hence, is strongly denied.”
The Congress chief spokesperson KK Mishra, in a letter with its copy sent to the CBI, had said the CBI was attributed for the information.
Mishra said the information was surprising because many high profile persons including governor Ram Naresh Yadav’s son Shailesh Yadav, officer on special duty (OSD) to the governor, Dhanraj Yadav, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s OSD Prem Prasad, former higher education minister Laxmikant Sharma and his OSD OP Shukla, MP Professional Examination Board (MPPEB- known as Vyapam in Hindi) examination controller Pankaj Trivedi, Vyapam chief system analyst Nitin Mahindra and several others were named in the FIRs related to the scam.
He had said the CBI must come out with an authorized statement on the issue particularly when there are three petitions pending before the Supreme Court regarding ‘blunders’ committed under political pressure during the previous STF investigation.
Over 2,000 people have been arrested in connection with the scam
The Vyapam scam is an admission and recruitment scam involving politicians, senior officials and businessmen in Madhya Pradesh.
Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB), popularly known by its Hindi acronym Vyapam (Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal), is a self-financed and autonomous body incorporated by the state government responsible for conducting several entrance tests in the state.
These entrance exams are held for recruitment in government jobs and admissions in educational institutes of the state.
The multi-crore rupee scam involved a collusion of undeserving candidates who bribed politicians and MPPEB officials through middlemen to get high ranks in these entrance tests.
More than 2,000 people have been arrested in connection with the scam.
Police say scamsters employed imposters to write papers, manipulate sitting arrangements and even supply forged answer sheets by bribing officials between 2012 and 2013.
The irregularities have snowballed into a massive multi-layered scam that has claimed the lives of 25 whistleblowers, accused and witnesses with others saying they received death threats as the top leaders find themselves embroiled in the scandal. Unofficial reports put the toll at 41.