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Vyapam scam: CBI questions ex-minister, former govt aide

india Updated: Apr 19, 2016 10:50 IST
Abhishek Sharan
Abhishek Sharan
Hindustan Times
Vyapam scam

A file photo of former minister Laxmikant Sharma (Praveen Bajpai/ HT Photo)

The CBI recently questioned Madhya Pradesh’s former technical education minister Laxmikant Sharma and former officer on special duty in the state governor’s office Dhanraj Yadav, as part of a probe into the Vyapam test-rigging scam.

A former BJP leader, Sharma was expelled by the party in June 2014 on his arrest by the state police in a case related to the Vyapam scam. The CBI took over the probe in July last year on the Supreme Court’s order.

The scam saw multiple rackets help candidates rig examinations conducted by the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) for money.

The CBI questioned Sharma and Yadav over their alleged role in irregularities linked to three separate recruitment examinations.

“We have recorded the duo’s statements and are verifying their claims for accuracy. CBI may question them again to seek further clarifications in light of any new evidence that may emerge,” said a CBI source.

Sharma was among 20 people named as accused in connection with irregularities in a recruitment test for the posts of combined assistant programmer, Information

Technology operator, data entry operator and computer operator by MPPEB in 2013, said the source. Others whose roles are under the scanner in the case are MPPEB’s then controller of examinations Pankaj Trivedi, its former system analyst Nitin Mohindra and former assistant programmer CK Mishra.

The case was lodged under sections related to cheating, criminal conspiracy and criminal misconduct by a public servant.

Yadav, on the other hand, was questioned by the CBI in connection with irregularities in another state examination held in 2013 to recruit police constables. Others named in the FIR were Trivedi, Mohindra and senior systems analyst Ajay Kumar Sen. Among the charges invoked were those related to cheating, criminal conspiracy and Information Technology act. Yadav was also questioned over another test conducted in 2012 to recruit state police sub-inspectors, subedars and platoon commanders.