The e-tendering scam was an election issue for the Congress.(PTI)
The e-tendering scam was an election issue for the Congress.(PTI)

Hard disks seized in Madhya Pradesh e-tendering row, clerk test on radar

A day after Kamal Nath took over as Madhya Pradesh chief minister, the police informed the state government on Tuesday that the Centre’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) has seized 11 hard disks related to the e-tendering scam.
By Punya Priya Mitra and Shruti Tomar | Hindustan Times, Bhopal
UPDATED ON DEC 19, 2018 07:42 AM IST

A day after Kamal Nath took over as Madhya Pradesh chief minister, the police informed the state government on Tuesday that the Centre’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) has seized 11 hard disks related to the e-tendering scam.

Alongside, a probe was ordered by the state government into allegations of irregularities in the conduct of a clerks’ recruitment examination by the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board, called Vyapam, and a CBI court in Indore convicted an accused in the 2009 Vyapam scam in medical admissions.

V Madhukumar, director of the economic offences wing (EOW), confirmed that a CERT team had seized hard disks from the Madhya Pradesh State Electronic Development Corporation (MPSEDC) in the Rs 3,000 crore scam, which the Congress had made an issue in the recently concluded assembly elections.

The EOW had asked the CERT to assist it with investigations as the state agency did not have the technical expertise to decode the data on the hard disk.

The scam relates to the alleged hacking of the e-procurement portal hosted by the MPSEDC to see e-tenders before bids are opened and to lower the bids to favour certain companies. At present, the EOW is investigating nine e-tenders of three departments, all of which have been cancelled.

Those familiar with the investigation said the CERT visited the MPSEDC office in the first week of this month and scanned records over three days. “We have informed the state government about the latest development today [Tuesday],” a senior government official, who was not willing to be named, said.

The CERT is expected to sift through the data on the hard disks to find out the specific computer, its IP address and the time/place when the changes in tenders were made and submit a report within a month. Once the report is handed in, the EOW, which has been investigating the case over the last six months, will register an FIR, officials familiar with the matter said.

The e-tendering scam was an election issue for the Congress and the then leader of the Opposition, Ajay Singh, had claimed it was bigger than the Vyapam scam. The Congress had dema- nded that all the e-tenders floated by MPSEDC since its inception in 2013 should be examined.

‘Toppers’ scam

An inquiry was ordered into an alleged ‘toppers’ scam in a clerks’ recruitment exam conducted by Vyapam where six candidates who had been under-performing in every other test suddenly emerged as toppers.

Principal secretary, technical education, Ashok Varnawal, will inquire into the allegations. The order came after a group of candidates, along with Congress MLA Kunal Chaudhary, met Nath.

Akshay Hunka, convener of the Berozgar Sena, an organisation of unemployed youth, claimed the scam took place in the Group 4 (assistant grade III) recruitment exam conducted to fill 2,700 clerical posts in different departments. The exam was conducted in July and the results were announced on December 12.

“The six candidates who were unable to score even 50 per cent in two other recruitment exams suddenly scored 95 per cent and became toppers. Such improvement might be possible in one case, but six cases raise suspicion,” Hunka said.

Five-year jail

A CBI special court in Indore sentenced a Vyapam accused to five years’ rigorous imprisonment on Tuesday. According to CBI advocate Ranjan Sharma, a resident of Morena, Manoj Jatav cleared the Pre-Medical Test, 2009, with the help of impersonators.

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Congress leader Kamal Nath would induct 20 ministers into his cabinet over a week after he took over as the Madhya Pradesh chief minister.(PTI)
Congress leader Kamal Nath would induct 20 ministers into his cabinet over a week after he took over as the Madhya Pradesh chief minister.(PTI)

CM Kamal Nath to induct 20 ministers in Madhya Pradesh cabinet today

UPDATED ON DEC 25, 2018 12:01 AM IST
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In a major reshuffle in Madhya Pradesh’s administrative services, newly-appointed chief minister Kamal Nath shifted 42 officers, 23 of whom were district magistrates.(Mujeeb Faruqui/HT Photo)
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On Monday, Kamal Nath through an order waived outstanding short-term crop loans of farmers up to Rs 2 lakh per head.(PTI)
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Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath signs on the files for farm loan waiver(ANI Photo)
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath signs on the files for farm loan waiver(ANI Photo)

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Madhya Pradesh chief minister-designate Kamal Nath raised suspicion on EVMs.(PTI/File Photo)

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Congress leader Kamal Nath meets Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel who invited him to form the new government in the state at Raj Bhawan in Bhopal on Friday.(PTI)
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Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath will be the new Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh (HT File Photo)(HT Photo)

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Bhopal, India - Dec. 12, 2018: Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan addressing a press conference at state BJP office after his resignation in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India, on Wednesday, December 12, 2018. (Photo by Mujeeb Faruqui/Hindustan Times)(HT Photo)
Bhopal, India - Dec. 12, 2018: Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan addressing a press conference at state BJP office after his resignation in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India, on Wednesday, December 12, 2018. (Photo by Mujeeb Faruqui/Hindustan Times)(HT Photo)

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Assembly elections 2018: Congress party supporters hold a cut-out of party President Rahul Gandhi and celebrate outside the party headquarters in New Delhi.(AP)
Assembly elections 2018: Congress party supporters hold a cut-out of party President Rahul Gandhi and celebrate outside the party headquarters in New Delhi.(AP)

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Outgoing chief minister Shivraj Singh chouhan addressing press conference at state BJP office in Bhopal.(Mujeeb Faruqui/HT Photo)
Outgoing chief minister Shivraj Singh chouhan addressing press conference at state BJP office in Bhopal.(Mujeeb Faruqui/HT Photo)

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Congress state president Kamal Nath (R), party leader and MP Jyotiraditya Scindia (L) during the release of Madhya Pradesh assembly election manifesto, at PCC headquarters in Bhopal on November 10.(PTI File Photo)
Congress state president Kamal Nath (R), party leader and MP Jyotiraditya Scindia (L) during the release of Madhya Pradesh assembly election manifesto, at PCC headquarters in Bhopal on November 10.(PTI File Photo)

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Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath addressing party workers in Jabalpur on Friday.(HT photo)
Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath addressing party workers in Jabalpur on Friday.(HT photo)

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Accepting BJP’s defeat, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan submitted his resignation to the Governor.
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