Vyapam scam: SC to hear CBI plea on July 20, bandh in Madhya Pradesh today

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear on Monday the plea of CBI that Special Investigation Team (SIT) be allowed to file charge sheets in the Vyapam scam cases in which the investigation is over. A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu, fixed the plea of the probe agency for hearing on July 20 and asked CBI to serve the copy of the application to the parties concerned.

READ ALSO: All you should know about Vyapam scam

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Maninder Singh, appearing for CBI, said that the transfer of more than 185 Vyapam scam cases from SIT to CBI will take time and the state investigating agency be allowed to file charge sheets in the cases in which the probe is complete.

“Otherwise, the accused will get statutory bail on account of default of non-filing of charge sheets within stipulated time period,” the ASG said.

On July 9, the Supreme Court had ordered transfer of the probe into all Vyapam scam cases and the deaths allegedly linked to it to CBI.

The apex court had passed the order while hearing a batch of petitions, including the one filed by senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh seeking apex court-monitored CBI probe into all cases arising out of the Vyapam scam.

While passing the order, the apex court had also taken on record the submission of the Madhya Pradesh government that it had no objection on transferring the investigation of cases relating to Vyapam scam to CBI.

READ ALSO: CBI registers first set of FIRs in Vyapam scam

Congress has alleged that around 49 persons linked to the Vyapam scam have died under mysterious circumstances, a charge refuted by the state government. The official figure is around 25 which the state government says includes suicides, accidents and some other unnatural deaths.

The multi-crore rupee 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 that of teachers, medical officers, constables and forest guards.

MP bandh today, Cong seeks Chouhan’s resignation

The day-long statewide bandh called by Madhya Pradesh Congress on Thursday began with party general secretary Digvijaya Singh and state unit president Arun Yadav demanding chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s resignation over the Vyapam scam.

Yadav, along with Congress workers, reached Digvijay’s house in Shyamla Hills from where the duo went on a motorcycle towards various city areas in support of the bandh call.

Singh drove the motorcycle to some distance and later got into his four-wheeler.

State Congress unit’s chief spokesman K K Mishra claimed that the “bandh was highly successful and people have supported it overwhelmingly.”

The Congressmen also gave roses to people with a request to support the bandh.

READ ALSO: 48 deaths, but MP BJP chief has no regrets over Vyapam
Heavy security was deployed in all major cities of the state to prevent any untoward incident, a senior police official said.

However, Madhya Pradesh BJP’s media in-charge Dr Hitesh Bajpai said the Congress’ claim of bandh was “totally hollow as markets in the state normally open after 11 AM.”

The bandh was not supported by a section of Muslim community as it was called on the eve of Eid festival.

“Congress should have organised the bandh after Eid. At this crucial time we make purchases for Eid celebration,” a senior journalist from the minority community said.

He said the shutdown was just a day ahead of Bohra community’s Eid on July 17 and his Eid too is falling on July 18 or July 19, he added.

Meanwhile, some businessmen put up posters versus the bandh at some places in the busy Chowk bazaar and also posted advertisements in newspapers to protest the closure call.

READ ALSO: Back to back deaths singe Shivraj Chouhan

The CBI had on Wednesday registered three FIRs and formally launched its probe in the high-profile Vyapam scam.

The Congress has alleged that an accused in the scandal extended favours to Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan and other BJP and RSS leaders, a charge denied by them.

The CBI team, which has been camping in Bhopal for the last two days, registered three cases in connection with the massive rigging of examinations for recruitment in government jobs and admissions in educational institutions, naming among others a member of Madhya Pradesh Backward Classes and Minorities Commission member and his son.

The premier investigating agency also launched a probe into the “mysterious” deaths of five persons associated with the scam.