The Madhya Pradesh high court on Wednesday sought the Madhya Pradesh chief minister’s response to a whistleblower’s allegation that he was asked not to link the family of Shivraj Singh Chouhan to the exam-rigging scam in the state.
The Indore bench of the high court has asked Chouhan to file a counter-affidavit within a week, said Anand Mohan Mathur, the lawyer of whistleblower Dr Anand Rai.
The court is hearing a petition filed by Rai and his wife Gauri accusing the state government of targeting them for exposing the state’s biggest scandal in recent times.
Anand Rai is one of the key whistleblowers in the scam involving multiple rackets which helped candidates buy seats in medical courses and government jobs. The scam is now being probed by the CBI.
Last month, the high court had stayed the transfers of the doctor couple after they sought the judiciary’s protection from the alleged hounding by the BJP government.
Rai had earlier submitted an affidavit stating that Chouhan had called him to his official residence on August 11 and asked him not to target his family in the scam at the Vyapam, the Hindi acronym of the MP professional examination board.
The whistleblower had also accused the chief minister of saying that if Rai stopped targeting Chouhan’s family, the transfers of the couple will be revoked. Rai, as well as other whistleblowers, have been saying that Chouhan and his wife are directly involved in the scam, a charge the chief minister has categorically refuted.
“I was informed that he (Chouhan) wanted to meet me through a common friend. I then went to meet him and we had a conversation for about an hour till 10.45 pm on August 11,” Rai said. Rai’s lawyer said a bench of justices PK Jaiswal and DK Paliwal directed the government counsel to ensure that a reply is filed by the chief minister himself.
SK Mishra, principal secretary in the chief minister’s office, said that though he has knowledge of a meeting between Chouhan and Rai, he was not aware of what transpired between them. “But as far as my knowledge goes, Dr Rai had perhaps approached the chief minister,” Mishra said.
Rai was posted as a medical officer in a government training institute in Indore and recently his attachment order to the post was abolished by the government by posting him back to his parent post to a hospital in Dhar district. His wife was also transferred from Ujjain to Dhar recently.
The Rais have pointed out that he was transferred to Dhar barely few days after he lodged a complaint against senior BJP leader and former Union minister Vikram Verma. Verma’s wife Neena Verma is the local MLA of Dhar.
In a complaint to the CBI, Rai alleged that the BJP leader used his and influence to get his daughter, pursuing MBBS in a college in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad, transferred to the Gandhi Medical College in Bhopal.