In May last year, the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) cancelled the results of 315 candidates who passed its pre-medical test (PMT) between 2008 and 2011 after finding they worked with scamsters to alter their sitting arrangements.
Despite this evidence, the Special Task Force (STF) probing the admission and recruitment scam limited its investigation to the PMT of 2012 and 2013, said whistleblowers.
They are hopeful the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is probing the scam on the orders of the Supreme Court, will widen the investigation to include pre-2012 tests conducted by MPPEB, also known as Vyapam from its Hindi acronym.
Whistleblower Anand Rai said Vyapam had accepted rigging was going on before 2012 by cancelling the results in earlier years. He said he could hand over SMS and email records and other evidence to the CBI.
Special investigation teams in districts arrested several candidates allegedly involved in rigging tests during 2008-11. Citing instances, Rai said Rohit Jain was arrested for PMT 2009, Virendra Patidar for PMT 2010 and Richa Johri for the Pre-PG (Medical) Entrance Test 2011.
Former MLA Paras Saklecha, another whistleblower, alleged tests were being rigged since 2000 and he would ask the CBI to extend its probe to all tests conducted by the MPPEB in the past 15 years.
“We gave many proofs in these cases, yet the STF failed to extend the scope of its probe. This is perhaps because they don’t want to touch certain influential people like Sudhir Singh Bhadoria, who was controller of exams of Vyapam between 2008 and 2011, and is said to be a relative of Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar,” Rai alleged.
During a news conference on Tuesday, Tomar said Bhadoria is not his relative. “These are all lies built by the Congress that would come crashing down,” he said.
The Past Link
After getting evidence of rigging from the STF, the MPPEB cancelled the results of 772 candidates who passed the PMT in 2012 and 2013.
The MPPEB also decided to conduct an inquiry into PMTs held in earlier years because evidence suggested that the board’s former chief systems analyst, Nitin Mahindra, was in touch with scam kingpin Jagdish Sagar since 2008.
“Our internal inquiry into tests between 2008 and 2011 led to cancellation of PMT of 315 more candidates. In these cases too, roll number allotments were changed to allow candidates to cheat during the exam with help of ‘scorers’ (bright students brought in by scamsters) like it was done in 2012 and 2013,” a MPPEB official said.