Vyapam scam: Shivraj relents on CBI probe, Opposition wants CM probe too

The Madhya Pradesh government on Tuesday requested the High Court to hand over the investigation into the Vyapam admission tests scam to the CBI.

Written by Milind Ghatwai , Maneesh Chhibber | Bhopal | Updated: July 8, 2015 8:52 am
vyapam scam, Vyapam scam deaths, Vyapam scam inquiry, Vyapam scam probe, Vyapam scam CBI probe, Vyapam scam SC, Vyapam Scam Supreme court, MP Vyapam scam, Vyapam scam death toll, MP CM Shivraj Cingh Chouhan, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Uma Bharti, Digvijaya Singh, Akshay Singh, Akshay Singh death, Madhay Pradesh news, MP news, india news VYAPAM SCAM: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan addressing a press conference at Mantralaya in Bhopal. (Source: PTI)

After consistently stonewalling calls for an independent probe, the Madhya Pradesh government today requested the High Court to hand over the investigation into the Vyapam admission tests scam to the CBI. Under attack, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan claimed he wanted to counter what he called the “falsehood” surrounding the recent deaths linked to the controversy.

READ: INTERVIEW | Entire BJP leadership is standing solidly with me, say Shivraj Singh Chouhan

“In the last two days, an atmosphere of falsehood has been created that would have eventually affected the well-being of the state, which has emerged as the best performing one in the last decade. A perception was being created that the deaths (of people linked to the scam) were suspicious,” Chouhan told The Indian Express.

READ: EXPLAINED | Across the Board: Vyapam’s Spread

“I felt that a wrong impression was being created which may not be corrected by merely saying that a fair investigation is being conducted. In a democracy, perception matters a lot and the conduct of the ruler, who is actually the servant of the public, must be above any criticism or questions. This is necessary if he has to work with full authority. That is why I came to the conclusion that the questions that have cropped up require a CBI probe,” he said.

READ: Took death of Governor’s son to add fuel to fire

Barely two days ago, however, Chouhan had said — after the death of an Aaj Tak reporter who was reporting on the scam — that there was no need to call in the central agency to probe the case.

The MP High Court, which had set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the scam, had earlier ruled out the need to get the CBI involved.

READ: Before it hears Vyapam petitions, Supreme Court says shocking, people dying everyday

Yesterday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said that he wasn’t averse to a CBI probe if the court intervened and asked for it. Senior party leader from Madhya Pradesh and Chouhan’s predecessor Uma Bharti said she was “scared” by the deaths of those linked to the scam.

READ: Tracking Vyapam deaths: Alcoholism, accident, drunk driving

However, even as Chouhan said today that only a CBI probe could clear “the feeling… that there was something suspicious” about the recent deaths, any new probe might pose fresh problems for the CM who is just months away from completing 10 years in office.

READ: Tracking Vyapam deaths: Cancer to bike accident to suicide, grieving families demand answers

The Congress has already said that he must quit for any independent investigation to succeed but more significantly, has accused the CM’s wife Sadhna Singh of recommending candidates for “illegal” selection to government jobs.

Chouhan had already sacked his private assistant Prem Prasad for allegedly procuring a medical college seat for his daughter and for having “recommended” other candidates.

Asked to respond to these allegations, however, Chouhan slammed the Congress for dragging those close to him into the controversy, particularly his wife.

“It is all courtesy discredited Congress leaders, who have lost election after election. Since they can’t win elections, they are dragging my wife in. This is not the first time they have leveled baseless allegations against her. But each allegation has proved to be false. The public is not unaware. We will give them (Congress) a proper reply,” he said.

Asked about the suggestion that the three senior BJP leaders who are not seen as being part of the Narendra Modi camp — External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Rajasthan CM Vasundhare Raje and himself — were suddenly mired in major controversies, Chouhan replied with an emphatic “No”.

”Even to think like this is sacrilege for me. We have full faith in the leadership of our Prime Minister Narendra Modiji, who has emerged as a global leader. Our national (party) president Amit Shah is so worried about me that we have been talking almost on a daily basis. They don’t even want a perception to gain ground that there’s something wrong in the state. That is why we are proud of them,” he added.

Asked why Bharti appeared to be upset with him, Chouhan said, “Uma Bhartiji is my sister and I have deep respect for her. She has a lot of affection for me. In a democracy, everyone has the right to speak openly and she has always been known to speak her mind.”

Meanwhile, MP Additional Advocate General P K Kauravs told The Indian Express that the government’s plea for a CBI probe would be taken up by the HC division bench, comprising Chief Justice A K Khanvilkar and Justice Alok Aradhe, which is monitoring the probe.

The Supreme Court had decided on Monday to hear a bunch of petitions related to the Vyapam scam on July 9.

Incidentally, the Chouhan government’s request for a CBI probe comes exactly two years after the first arrests were made in the scam in Indore on July 7, 2013.

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    avi
    Jul 8, 2015 at 5:51 am
    Something is seriously wrong, why the inquiry has been dela for so long ??? Who knows the chief minister is also a player in this racket ???
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      mohan
      Jul 8, 2015 at 9:12 am
      The media circus and cry for CBI investigation is an attempt to delay the SIT from submitting its report early. CBI is a caged parrot and also a staunch Dynasty loyalist. The English TV channels never discussed the crisis in Greece or PM's foreign visit. Both LalitGate and Vyapam are the creation of Cong. But the blame is on Modi because he is the PM. NDA is forced to carry the baggage left behind by the decade long rule of Dr MMS and 60 yrs rule of Cong(I)
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        mohan
        Jul 8, 2015 at 1:04 pm
        Also please remember the Bhopal Gas Tragedy that killed 8000 people and maimed much more in Dec 1984. The children of 2nd and 3rd generation are affected with brain damage, twisted limbs and musculoskeletal disorders. This makes the indirect death toll above 25000. The main accused Warren Anderson was arrested and released on bail of $2100 by MP police and was flown out of the country. Finally the US court gave the compensation of $250 million for 25000 human lives
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          mohan
          Jul 8, 2015 at 3:06 pm
          We see the world through the lens of the major media. A convex lens maginifies an event and the concave lens miniaturizes it. The media feeds us a steady diet of disinformation and lies appropriately mixed with doses of entertainment. The oligarchy of bankers control the media and achieve its plan of world domination. These bankers create economic recessions all over the world. Greece did not fail on its own, but was made to fail by Vultures like Goldman Sachs, ECB, IMF. But the mainstream media is spreading the news that crisis is due to extravagant government spending. The medias that criticize Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Vyapam scam hides so many truths and magnify some unfortunate incidents. A developed nation like Greece having cent percent literacy got entrapped by the illuminati vultures. It is easy for the media to misguide an ordinary citizen of India. BJP has to be more cautious because the mighty enemy is equipped with muscle power, media power and mafia power
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          1. Naba Sinha Roy
            Jul 8, 2015 at 12:09 pm
            The media circus and cry for CBI investigation is an attempt to delay the SIT from submitting its report early. CBI is a caged parrot and also a staunch Dynasty loyalist. The English TV channels never discussed the crisis in Greece or PM's foreign visit. Both LalitGate and Vyapam are the creation of Cong. But the blame is on Modi because he is the PM. NDA is forced to carry the baggage left behind by the decade long rule of Dr MMS and 60 yrs rule of Cong. There are some things in the case which are not clear to me. It is Shivraj Singh who ordered the probe in the first place. The scam has been going on from the time Digvijay was the CM. He could have kept quiet or done a superficial job. BJP and Congress affiliates who were found guilty in the probe were arrested. No attempts were made by Shivraj to provide them protection. Knowing fully well his govt is under attack who on earth would initiate more scam related killings to further put his own govt in soup. I don't know why but I am now increasingly getting the feeling that these deaths are being orchestrated to frame Shivraj and to further delay the SIT from submitting its report on 16th July by keep asking for more agencies to investigate. Digvijay Singh went many times to HC and SC but his plea for a CBI probe was rejected due to SC being happy with HC led SIT investigations. They would have agreed if there was substance.It is another scam by Congress. The immediate "demand" by Congress is very suious. More and more such scams and killings will happen in BJP ruled states. This to derail progress and growth which will finally kill off Congress and hi Italian family.
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