The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to hear a plea seeking the removal of Madhya Pradesh governor Ram Naresh Yadav for his alleged involvement in the state's multi-layered examination and recruitment scandal, commonly called the Vyapam scam.
Yadav was booked for allegedly accepting bribes from five people for recruitment as forest guards but the high court later quashed the FIR in view of his constitutional position.
The sudden death of a Delhi journalist covering the scam has kicked up a storm as 38 people linked to the professional exam board scam, including governor Yadav's son Shailesh Yadav, have died mysteriously since it came to light in 2013.
Video: Madhya Pradesh CM says every death should not be linked to Vyapam scam
The governor has been under pressure to quit after being named in the FIR. The Union government reportedly asked him to step down but Yadav has clung on to his position.
The scam in admission and recruitment tests has led to the arrest of more than 2,000 people and caused major embarrassment for chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Five advocates from the Madhya Pradesh high court filed a petition before the Supreme Court demanding the removal of Yadav. The matter is scheduled to be heard on July 9.
Sanjay Shukla and four other advocates of the HC moved the SC, arguing Yadav should not be granted immunity from criminal proceedings under Article 361, which details the protection of the President, governors and Rajpramukhs. According to the petition, "no protection shall be granted to any person, be it the Governor of a State, who has committed an act which leads to criminal conduct, and it is necessary that such act comes to light, for which investigation is necessary".
The petitioners stated that while the governor is entitled to certain protection for discharging his official duties, "no such protection could be given to a tainted person involved in a scam."
The petitioners also assailed the high court's judgment of May 5 quashing the FIR against the governor.
"It must be pointed out that there have been innumerable media reports about the involvement of the son of the governor as well as the governor in the Vyapam scam," the petition stated.