The Special Investigation Team (SIT) monitoring the probe into the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board or Vyapam scam has told the high court that the documents used by AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh to target Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan are forged.
Singh had alleged that the hard disk seized from an MPPEB official had been tampered with to ensure a clean chit to Chouhan by replacing his name in the original excel sheet with that of others. While opening the special report submitted by the SIT in the court on Friday, a division bench comprising Chief Justice A M Khanvilkar and Justice Alok Aradhe posted the matter for further hearing on April 27.
The SIT has said in its report that the documents appeared to be forged and (the forgery) has been done with the intent to mislead the investigating agency. To back its prima facie opinion, the SIT has given seven reasons after examining the documents (on a pen drive) and after the demonstration given by the technical staff of Special Task Force (STF), the investigating agency.
Without elaborating, the division bench said, “The STF is free to consider all aspects of the matter and issue such instructions to STF as may be necessary in the circumstances, to be proceeded in accordance with the law.” A government lawyer said this could be interpreted to mean that the STF was free to act against those who had conspired to submit false evidence.
Singh, meanwhile, has identified the whistleblower who gave him the documents as Prashat Pande. Pande, an Indore-based cyber expert, had identified himself as Mr X in a petition in Delhi High Court seeking police protection. He has been provided security.
The Congress leader had revealed the whistleblower’s name in Bhopal on Thursday when he was questioned by the STF in connection with the evidence he submitted. The state government, however, has called Pande a man with “criminal antecedents”. After the high court’s interim order, several BJP leaders targeted Digvijaya Singh for submitting forged documents to tarnish the Chouhan’s image.
The SIT had sent the original hard disk seized from MPPEB official Nitin Mohindra to the forensic laboratory in Gandhinagar, which has said there was no tampering.
BJP chief Nandkumar Chouhan had called Singh “a conspirator” in a statement.