Amit Pandey, the husband of a senior bureaucrat of Madhya Pradesh who was arrested in connection with a scam in the recruitment of contract teachers, was on Thursday produced in a court that sent him to jail on judicial remand till February 3.
Pandey is the husband of additional chief secretary Ajita Vajpai Pandey. He was arrested by the Special Task Force (STF) late on Tuesday night after he repeatedly failed to present himself for questioning by police.
He was presented in the court of chief judicial magistrate Pankaj Singh Maheshwari, who sent him to jail on judicial remand, STF officials said.
Taking advantage of his wife’s official position, Pandey had been evading the STF, which summoned him for questioning on three occasions. The fourth notice, served on Pandey about 20 days ago, directed him to appear at the STF headquarters for questioning before January 20.
STF sources said Pandey agreed to come to the STF office on Tuesday afternoon only after pressure was mounted on his wife. He was quizzed for about four hours about his alleged role in the scam in the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) and then arrested.
Pandey was wanted in connection with a scam in the test for recruiting grade 2 and 3 contract teachers. A case was registered against him in December 2013 by the STF, which is investigating the multi-layered scam.
A property dealer, Pandey allegedly had links with Nitin Mahindra, a former principal system analyst at MPPEB. Pandey’s name was found in an excel sheet recovered from Mahindra's computer.
In his statement to the STF, Mahindra said he had referred to Pandey in the excel sheet as “Pandeyji”. The sheet was prepared by Mahindra to maintain records of candidates recommended by influential people or middlemen.
Pankaj Trivedi, a dismissed MPPEB exam controller who is one of the key accused in the admission and recruitment scam, revealed that the IAS officer’s husband had allegedly recommended 10 candidates for selection as teachers.
"Pandeyji had come with Layak Singh, a resident of Gwalior, and introduced to me Layak Singh as his close friend. Later, they gave me nearly 10 candidates' roll numbers and asked us to pass them in the written exam. I gave those roll numbers to Nitin Mahindra," Trivedi said in his statement to the STF.