Former MLA Paras Sakhlecha, who has been raising the pre-medical test (PMT) scam both in and outside the House, appeared before the Special Investigation Team (SIT) and demanded that chief minister should also be questioned in relation to the scam as he was holding the portfolio of medical education department from January 2009 to July 2012, the period when the PMT scam peaked.
In his one-and-a half hour deposition before SIT, constituted by MP High Court to monitor all the PEB scams, Sakhlecha said that the Supreme Court asked the CBI to question former prime minister Manmohan Singh because he was in-charge of coal ministry when coal scam took place, why the chief minister was not being questioned by the STF and urged the SIT to direct STF interrogate the CM.
He pointed out that chief minister as in-charge of medical education minister had formed a committee headed by director, medical education, to probe large scale irregularities in PMT-2009 after he raised the issue in the state assembly.
He told the SIT that the committee took 13 months before it met for the first time and submitted its report 17 months later, by this time PMT 2010 and PMT 2011 had also taken place. The committed admitted to admission of 114 candidates in medical colleges by fraudulent means.
However, when PMT took place in June 2012, the number of fake candidates had gone up to 693. Sakhlecha suggested that CM didn’t take any action to prevent PMT scam for years despite knowing about it since 2009.
He also expressed surprise that none of the top officials of PEB and medical education department at the time of scams were questioned by STF either. He urged the SIT to order STF to interrogate all those officials as also deans of medical colleges.
He further questioned the CM’s claim that he asked STF to inquire into PMT scam after receiving an anonymous complaint about two persons staying at a hotel in Indore, who could engineer large scale irregularities in PMT 2013 and prevent any scam. He said that STF DSP D S Baghel in his affidavit in the High Court nebver referred to any direction from the CM and said chief minister appeared to have ‘cooked’ the story of his prompt action after receiving the complaint to distance himself from the scams.
If it were not so, more than 600 ‘fake’ candidates would not have appeared in PMT 2013, he argued.