A 40-member team of the CBI will reach Bhopal on Monday to take over inquiries into a multi-crore recruitment and admission scam in Madhya Pradesh but the future of 13 special investigation teams currently probing the case remains uncertain.
The CBI investigators will be headquartered in Bhopal, agency spokesperson RK Gaur said, three days after the Supreme Court asked it to take over the Vyapam probe following a spate of mysterious deaths linked to the scandal.
Sources said the special team will be headed by a joint director-level officer and take over investigations from the state police by registering multiple cases.
But the chiefs of the SITs —probing cases at the divisional and district level related both to the scam and the hundreds of fake admissions arising out of rigged tests since 2006 — aren’t sure if all their inquiries would be handed over to the CBI.
“According to the Supreme Court’s order, investigation of the Vyapam scam has been transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation. But there is no clear instruction whether only cases investigated by SITs would be handed over or all cases,” said a senior STF officer.
“A team of CBI is visiting the STF headquarters; let’s see if they take over cases investigated by SITs or only those probed by the STF.” Agency sources said the team will comprise officers from several teams to pool in a variety of expertise.
The agency is likely to initially take over cases registered by the state’s special task force and may request the MP government later to transfer all related FIRs from the state police.
One of India’s biggest corruption scandals, the Vyapam scam has seen at least 40 deaths of witnesses and accused with whistleblowers accusing people were being deliberately eliminated to shield top bureaucrats and politicians.
Around 2,800 people have already been arrested in the case and several more have been named in the scam, including governor Ram Naresh Yadav, which saw organised rackets manipulate exams conducted by the MP professional education board by employing imposters and forged answer sheets.
The latest round of deaths earlier this month triggered widespread outrage and a number of petitions were filed in the top court asking for the probe to be shifted from the STF to the CBI. The apex court transferred the probe of all cases related to the Vyapam scam to the CBI and asked the agency to file its report before it on July 24.