Vyapam scam: MP CM bows to public pressure, recommends CBI probe
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday recommended a CBI probe into Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) scam, also called the Vyapam scam, in which more than two dozen accused and witnesses have died under mysterious circumstances.
Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday recommended a CBI probe into Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) scam, also called the Vyapam scam, in which more than two dozen accused and witnesses have died under mysterious circumstances.
I have full faith in the judiciary but recent events have led to an atmosphere that investigation should be done by the CBI, so I am writing to the honourable High Court requesting it to order a CBI probe into the Vyapam scam and all deaths related to it, the Chief Minister said while addressing a press conference here.
The Chief Minister also defended his government's action regarding the multi-crore Vyapam scam by saying, “I have ensured a fair probe into the Vyapam scam ever since it came to my knowledge. I have full faith in the STF probe. I have no doubts on the kind of inquiry that will be conducted by the STF. All I want to say is that since the matter was being monitored by the High Court itself, there was no scope for government’s interference in it.”
However, honouring public sentiments, I am going to request the High Court for a CBI probe, Chouhan added.
The Chief Minister further elaborated that he was dispatching a letter to the Madhya Pradesh High Court pleading that the case should be handed over to the CBI.
Chouhan said that he was recommending the CBI inquiry because a "government should be above suspicion. We need to answer if any questions are raised. People also want to know what is happening in the case. With a CBI probe, everything will be crystal clear in the case."
To a question whether he had discussed the Opposition onslaught on his government over the Vyapam scam with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chouhan said, “I spent the whole night thinking over the matter and decided that investigations should be handled by CBI."
Singh also made a scathing attack on the Congress-led Opposition for levelling baseless allegations against him and trying to tarnish his reputation by linking him and his close aides to the Vyapam scam.
Baseless allegations have been put on me. Congress doesn't care about Vyapam scam, they only cared about targeting me, maligning my reputation, the MP CM said.
His comments came a day after Union home minister Rajnath Singh said the government could not order a probe by the central agency till it received an order from the Supreme Court or the Madhya Pradesh high court.
The move came on a day when the Supreme court agreed to hear on July 9 a petition filed by senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh seeking a court-monitored CBI probe into Madhya Pradesh’s multi-crore Vyapam scam.
Singh had earlier alleged complicity of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in the MPPEB scam or the Vyapam scam.
In his petition, he had asked the apex court to quash an order by the Madhya Pradesh High Court and a report by the Special Investigation Team which had dubbed the evidence provided by him as “fabricated and forged”.
Singh said the HC and SIT had tarnished his image and the Supreme Court should safeguard his “right to reputation”.
The petition stated that a whistleblower had produced incriminating material on alleged tampering of evidence by the Indore police to benefit Chouhan.
Speaking to reporters, Singh had said that the SIT has expressed its helplessness in the matter, given the magnitude and alleged involvement of top officials of the police, civil services and judiciary as well as BJP and RSS leaders.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is also due to hear a bunch of PILs related to the Vyapam scam on Thursday (July 9), including one seeking removal of Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav.
Some petitions are also seeking a court-monitored independent investigation but Home Minister Rajnath Singh said until the court orders, the government will not order a CBI probe.
So far, over 40 people, both accused and witnesses, have died under mysterious circumstances.
A three-judge bench presided by Chief Justice H L Dattu fixed the matter for hearing on July 9, after a counsel urged the court for early listing of the special leave petition filed by whistleblower Dr Sanjay Shukla and others challenging the May 5 Madhya Pradesh (MP) High Court order, quashing an FIR against the Governor.