'SIT's limited mandate in MPPEB scams probe a relief for govt'

  • Ashutosh Shukla, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Nov 20, 2014 17:06 IST

Revelation that the MP high court is not monitoring investigation into all the Professional Examination Board (PEB) scams but only Pre-Medical Test (PMT) and Pre-PG (medical) Entrance Test has raised questions over jurisdiction of Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the court to track the Special Task Force’s (STF) investigation into the scams.

If the SIT supervision of probe is going to be limited to PMT and Pre-PG test, the ruling dispensation would be saved from a lot of uncomfortable questions arising out of investigation into six recruitment scams. The questions which senior counsel KT S Tulsi, Indira Jaisingh, Vivek Tankha or Rajendra Tiwari had raised but were turned down on the ground that they related to scams, which the court was not monitoring.

These legal luminaries, who appeared on behalf of the petitioners seeking a CBI probe into the scam, had also raised questions on fundamental capability of STF to probe scams where governor’s office or chief minister’s office was involved.

Private assistants (PAs) of both the governor and the chief minister are among suspects in the scam. Also, there are names of top RSS and BJP leaders but they are all related to recruitment scams and not the two medical entrance tests. Even former minister Laxmikant Sharma, who is in jail in connection with the scams, is not an accused in PMT or Pre-PG (medical) entrance test. Therefore, it would be a big ‘political’ relief if the SIT were not monitoring investigation into recruitment scams.

As far as order of the double-bench, which heard the petitions seeking CBI probe into scams and dismissed them, it appears that the SIT would only be monitoring PMT and Pre PG (medical) entrance test.

On page number 90 of the order, judges comprising Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Alok Aradhe said “This team will also be entrusted with the task of overall supervision of the investigation of criminal cases concerning PMT-VYAPAM examination scam assigned to STF, on case to case basis.” All through the 96-page order, the judges have used the phrase “PMT-VYAPAM examination scam” for PMT and Pre PG (medical) entrance test.

Justice Chandresh Bhushan, who will head the SIT, when asked about its jurisdiction said it would be decided by the court and added: “As if now, I don’t know anything about the matter except for the fact that I have been nominated to head the SIT.”

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