The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Wednesday appointed a special investigation team (SIT) to keep track of the probe by police’s special task force (STF) into the multi-layered Professional Examination Board (PEB) scam.
The court directive came while disposing of seven PILs — including one by Congress leader Digvijaya Singh — demanding a CBI inquiry into the high-profile admission and recruitment scam.
The SIT would be headed by a retired high court judge and include a retired IPS officer not below the rank of additional director general of police having in-depth experience of investigation and a former experienced IT professional.
HT has a copy of the court’s order.
The HC observed that "the STF have succeeded in arresting large number of scorers/impersonators and even middlemen from other states".
"The investigation done so far by the STF is free, fair and impartial," the court added.
The court clarified that the SIT would be empowered to issue instructions to the head of STF concerning investigations of criminal cases and lay down a time-frame for their completion.
The court said it would not entertain any communication, representation, PIL, application or writ petition relating to investigation of the STF into the PEB scam unless the issue raised was of violation and infringement of fundamental rights of any person.
Any such petition would be filed through the SIT, the court ordered.
The SIT chairman would file a report about any action taken time to time to the high court, the court said.
The HC also directed the state government to provide complete logistics support to the SIT and bear expenses incurred by it for which the chief secretary and the secretary of home department will be personally responsible.
The court restrained the state from transferring officials of STF to any department or giving additional work without prior permission of the court.
The STF has also been restrained from taking instructions from any authority outside it nor would it divulge any information directly or indirectly or share material collected during investigation to the third party or government official or higher ups outside it, the court directed.
The court rejected the petitioners' objection about additional advocate general PK Kaurav appearing as single counsel for the STF, PEB and state government in the case saying that "the assistance given by him in all those cases has been of high order and not even once it appeared to us that he had mixed up the causes of different wings of the state".
The court fixed the next date of hearing for November 7 when it hear the issue of appointment of SIT members along with the progress of investigations by the STF.