Former Madhya Pradesh minister Laxmikant Sharma was on Sunday released from the Central Jail in Bhopal after being granted bail in the seven cases against him in connection with the Vyapam scam. Sharma, who spent 19 months in prison, walked out of the jail after completing the legal formalities.
“I have faith in the judiciary and I’m grateful to people who stood by my side during my bad phase,” Sharma told reporters after coming out of the jail. A large number of supporters had gathered outside the jail to receive the former state Education Minister.
He then visited two temples and paid his obeisance and thereafter went to his mother’s place. Sharma later left for his hometown Sironj in neighbouring Vidisha district.
A division bench of the High Court comprising Chief Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice K K Trivedi had on December 18 granted bail to Sharma in connection with the rigging of the 2012 police constable recruitment test, conducted by Vyapam.
The bench, after hearing the defence and the prosecution, had directed that Sharma be released on bail after he furnishes a personal bond of Rs 5 lakh. He was granted bail in all the seven cases lodged against him.
The former minister is among the highest government functionaries to be jailed in the Vyapam scam, a massive admission and recruitment racket that witnessed dozens of mysterious deaths of accused, witnesses and others ever since probe into the alleged scandal began.
Several politicians, a host of officials and scores of aspirants have been arrested in the case. An FIR was earlier this year registered against Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav in connection with the scam but it was later quashed by the High Court holding that he enjoyed immunity while in office.