New Delhi/Bhopal, July 6
The Supreme Court today agreed to hear a petition seeking removal of Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav on the ground of his alleged involvement in the massive admission and recruitment scam in the state.
A Bench comprising Chief Justice HL Dattu and Justices Arun Kumar Mishra and Amitava Roy said that it will hear the petition about the Vyapam scam relating to the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) along with other pleas on the issue on July 9.
The petition, filed by a group of lawyers, have sought removal of Yadav and recording of his statement in the case.
Earlier, the apex court had granted four months more time to the Special Investigation Team (SIT), constituted following a High Court order, to conclude probe into the case.
The multi-crore rupees professional examination scam, involves several high-profile professionals, politicians and bureaucrats as accused.
The alleged scam involves MPPEB, which holds examinations for various posts such as teachers, medical officers, constables and forest guards.
Trainee cop found dead; Cong seeks CM Chouhan’s sacking
Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan faced more heat today over the Vyapam scam after a woman trainee sub-inspector recruited by the state board was found dead in a lake, with the Congress demanding his immediate sacking and an impartial probe.
Adding to the string of deaths since the past two days, the body of trainee sub-inspector Anamika Sikarwar (25) was found in a lake adjacent to the Police Training Academy at Sagar district headquarters in Madhya Pradesh.
It came after the unexplained death of journalist Akshay Singh who was covering Vyapam scam in Jhabua while Jabalpur Medical College Dean Arun Sharma, probing fake examinees, was found dead in a hotel at Dwarka in south-west Delhi.
Sagar City Superintendent of Police Gautam Solanki said they suspect Anamika’s death to be a case of suicide.
She was selected as a sub-inspector in an exam conducted by Vyapam but the police said that her selection has nothing to do with the Vyapam scam and she was not a suspected beneficiary.
The Chief Minister quickly denied that the incident was linked to the Vyapam probe.
“It is sad and unfortunate incident. But with all responsibility I say that there is no connection of that unfortunate incident with Vyapam or its probe. And it is not fair to link all such unfortunate incidents with Vyapam,” he said.
No CBI probe unless court directs: Rajnath
Maintaining that the SIT probe into Vyapam scam was being monitored by the Madhya Pradesh High Court, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the government cannot direct the court to hand it over to CBI.
Singh was speaking to reporters in Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh, where he had come to pay tribute to the late BJP MP Dileep Singh Bhuria at his ancestral village, Macchlia.
Asked why the state government was avoiding a CBI probe into the massive recruitment/admission scam, Singh said the High Court and the apex court had already rejected a PIL in this regard.
The Congress, which has sought a Supreme Court-monitored CBI probe, stepped up its attack on Chouhan, demanding that he be sacked to allow an impartial investigation and said that he cannot escape responsibility for the “45 deaths”.
“Shivraj Singh Chouhan should be sacked and an impartial probe should be done in the Vyapam scam,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in New Delhi.
Congress spokesperson PC Chacko said there are serious allegations against people close to Chouhan besides the family itself.
“The CM should ask for a CBI probe into the matter if he feels that he is in the clear,” Chacko said.
Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh alleged that the death of the woman trainee sub-inspector was linked to the scam.
“Training Cop recruited through Vyapam commits suicide in Sagar Police Academy MP. 46th or 47th (sic)?,” he tweeted.
The reference was to mysterious deaths of 45 persons since the massive scam in recruitment by Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB), known by its Hindi acronym ‘Vyapam’, came to light.
Chacko said the “Chief Minister cannot be spared and should take responsibility” along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Former Union Home Minister P Chidambaram insisted that Madhya Pradesh government recommend a CBI investigation before the “next unnatural death”, stressing the “buck stops with the Executive”.
“Lessons of #Vyapam: 1) Court monitoring does not guarantee independent investigation. Buck stops with the Executive. MP Government must order CBI investigation before the next unnatural death,” he said on microblogging site Twitter.
BJP leaders in Madhya Pradesh rejected allegations of the Congress on the recent deaths. MP Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narottam Mishra today said the death of Dean Arun Sharma is not related to Vyapam scam.
Police in Sagar said Anamika, the trainee sub-inspector, was married and a resident of Morena district. She was found missing from her room and later her body was found in the lake.
Police have sealed her room in the academy and so far no suicide note has been found. The exact cause will be known after a probe, SP Solanki said, adding that initial investigations are on in the case.
Many accused and witnesses have died so far in Vyapam scam, a massive admission and recruitment racket allegedly involving several bureaucrats and politicians.
The most high profile of them was Shailesh Yadav, son of Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav. Shailesh, 50, was found dead at his father’s residence in Mall Avenue area of Lucknow on March 25 this year.
Meanwhile, the Madhya Pradesh Parliamentary Affairs Minister said the death of dean Arun Sharma is not related to the Vyapam scam.
No foul play suspected in dean’s death: Police
The Delhi Police on Monday said that “no foul play” was suspected in the death of Jabalpur Medical college dean Arun Sharma at a city hotel yesterday as per prima facie evidence.
However, Police Commissioner B S Bassi said "nothwithstanding" the initial reports, a medical board has been constituted at the Safdarjung Hospital to conduct postmortem of the deceased.
“Our crime team had inspected the site where the incident took place and a CFSL team had done the same. So no evidence went unnoticed,” Bassi told reporters.
He said that police was in touch with Sharma's family as well for background check to make sure that there were no shortcomings in the investigation. CCTV footage was also being scanned, he said. — PTI/IANS