A whistleblower calling himself Mr X sought protection from the Delhi high court on Friday, saying he could be targeted by influential people involved in the examination and recruitment scam in Madhya Pradesh, court documents showed.
The petition in the high court is the latest twist in the highly-publicised scam which has seen the arrest of over 1,800 people till now and become a major friction point between the BJP government in the state and the opposition Congress.
The arrested people include politicians, businessmen, police personnel, close relatives of top bureaucrats and officials of the MP Professional Examination Board (PEB), where the scam took place.
Sources said the anonymous whistleblower was represented by a battery of lawyers led by Kapil Sibal, a top Congress leader, in the court of justice Siddarth Mridul.
Court documents in possession of HT said the whistle-blower also prayed for restraining MP police from arresting him from the territorial jurisdiction of Delhi high court.
The petitioner claimed to be a computer expert and said he possesed “sensitive information” relating to the scam, having worked with the special task force (STF), which is investigating the rip-off.
The petitioner said through his counsels he was privy to “certain information damaging to highly-placed individuals within the government and administration in the state of MP”, the documents said.
The whistleblower said his immediate cause of worry was a phone call on the night of February 18 from the SP (intelligence), Bhopal, asking him about his “current whereabouts”.
The petitioner also said he would submit documents related to the scam for their safe custody.
The court directed Delhi police to provide adequate protection after assessing the threat perception to the petitioner.
India enacted a legislation in 2014 to protect whistleblowers after several of them were murdered in separate incidents, allegedly at the behest of people they had exposed.
The court petition, incidentally, came a few days after the Congress produced as evidence an excel-sheet and other documents allegedly found on the computer hard drive of a PEB official.
Party leaders had said the documents allegedly proved that chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s name had figured repeatedly in the original excel-sheet seized but were later “struck out”.
The PEB scam involved multiple rackets that helped candidates rig examinations for admission to colleges and recruitment in government jobs. Scamsters employed imposters to write test papers, manipulated sitting arrangements and even supplied forged answer sheets.