Congress accuses CBI of shielding Uma Bharti in Vyapam scam

The CBI has filed charge sheet against former MP minister Laxmikant Sharma, 94 others in the Vyapam scam.

bhopal Updated: Jan 17, 2018 23:01 IST
Shruti Tomar and Punya Priya Mitra
Shruti Tomar and Punya Priya Mitra
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
Congress,Vyapam scam,PEB scam
Union water resources minister Uma Bharti was the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh between December 2003 and August 2004.(HT File Photo)

The Congress in Madhya Pradesh has accused the Central Bureau of Investigation of shielding BJP leader and union minister Uma Bharti, a former chief minister of the state in the so-called Vyapam case.

“The CBI has made former minister Laxmikant Sharma a scapegoat in the case and shielded former chief minister Uma Bharti at the instance of powerful people in power. Sharma is only a small fry in the biggest ever education cum appointment scam in the state,” claimed Ajay Singh, the leader of the opposition party in the state assembly.

Bharti’s office said the minister would not comment on the matter.

The CBI, which filed its latest charge sheet in the case on Tuesday, declined to comment but one of its officials said on condition of anonymity there was no evidence against Bharti, the state’s chief minister between December 2003 and August 2004. The agency probed her role, this person added. Bharti’s name finds mention in an excel sheet attached to the main charge sheet listing people who recommended candidates.

“Besides Bharti, there are other names also in the excel sheet but they also have not been charged in the case as the agency didn’t evidence against them too. During probe, when agency investigators tallied all candidates with that of those who recommended them, it was found that the two recruits mentioned against Bharti were instead pushed by former MP technical education minister Laxmi Kant Sharma who has been formally charged in the case along with his then officer-on-special-duty OP Shukla,” the officer said requesting anonymity.

The agency has alleged that Laxmi Kant Sharma allegedly got appointed a person of choice, Pankaj Trivedi, as Controller of Examination in Vyapam (Vyavsayic Pariksha Mandal) and through him pushed few of the favoured candidates for selection.

Vyapam was entrusted with responsibility to conduct examinations for professional courses and recruitment of government jobs in Madhya Pradesh.

In all, in its latest charge sheet, the CBI filed charges against 95 accused that pertain to irregularities in ‘Samvida Shala Shikshak Patrata Pariksha Varg-3’ Exam, conducted by Vyapam in 2011. Among the accused, 83 are those who appeared in exam as candidates.

So far the CBI has filed more than 110 chargesheets in connection with the Vyapam scam and named more than 1600 persons as accused in these cases.

One of the whistle blowers in the Vyapam case, Dr Anand Rai said: “If the director of Aurobindo medical college Vinod Bhandari could be made an accused even though his name was written as ‘Vinod’ in connection with another Vyapam cases dealing with pre-medical examinations, there is no reason why Uma Bharti should not be made an accused.”

(With HTC inputs in New Delhi)

First Published: Jan 17, 2018 23:01 IST