Bhopal: Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh on Wednesday demanded probe by CBI into "illegal" clinical trials of drugs in Madhya Pradesh and the "scam" in the Pre-Medical Test conducted earlier this year by the state Professional Examination Board (MPPEB).
"We (Congress) are sure that neither state police nor Lokayukta would probe the pre-medical test scam or even the drug trials and hence we are seeking CBI probe into these cases," Digvijay said.
Indore police had busted the gang of impersonators involved in the PMT scam and arrested its alleged kingpin Jagdish Sagar recently.
Police also arrested two officials of the Professional Examination Board (PEB) responsible for conducting exams for professional and other courses in Madhya Pradesh after Sagar`s arrest.
"A number of ineligible students have secured admission in MBBS course due to the scam. Despite the wrongdoings coming to the surface, the state government is bent on making new recruitments through the MPPEB," Digvijay alleged.
The demand for CBI investigation came close on the heels of Leader of Opposition Ajay Singh seeking similar inquiry, alleging that the scam was connected to the top echelons of power.
Digvijay alleged that at least 100 people lost their lives due to illegal clinical trials of drugs conducted at various hospitals in the state.
According to NGOs and some doctors, illegal and unethical clinical trials were conducted on poor persons including juveniles, tribals and Dalits who were used as "guinea pigs" for testing of drugs and vaccines produced by multinational corporations.
The supreme court had last year expressed concerns over such trials, saying it`s "unfortunate" that humans were being treated as "guinea pigs".
"Clinical trials can not be conducted on anyone without informing his or her family members but this rule was flouted in Madhya Pradesh," Digvijay alleged.
At the press conference, kin of those who lost their lives due to illegal drug trials, narrated how they were made victims by unscrupulous doctors.
Taking a dig at Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Digvijay said that the former "ran away" from holding a discussion on the no-confidence motion brought by Congress in the monsoon session of the state Assembly as he "lacked courage" to face it.
The no-confidence motion brought earlier this month in a bid to put the ruling BJP in the dock backfired on opposition Congress as its deputy leader Chaudhary Rakesh Singh Chaturvedi, not only scuttled the motion but also joined the BJP.
"Chouhan got scared because the motion had mentioned charges against his relatives. Chouhan also failed to answer charges as stated in the no-trust motion moved against his government in the winter session of 2011," Digvijay alleged.
Digvijay said state Governor Ram Naresh Yadav had written to the government asking it to re-convene Assembly session but has not elicited any response.
State unit Congress chief Kantilal Bhuria, Leader of Opposition Ajay Singh were present among others at the presser.