There has been a sudden disturbing frenzy caused amongst the people of India after the recent deaths of people related to the Vyapam scam. But with this there has also been a lot of speculation and confusion in the air about what the whole scam is all about and how has this large scale scam unfolded in the years.
To put all this confusion to an end, we have compiled a crisp list of events related to the scam. So read on to find out all you need to know about the Vyapam scam.
WHAT IS THE VYAPAM SCAM?
The Vyapam scam is an admission and recruitment scam in an entrance exam for high government posts, conducted by the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB), popularly known as Vyapam or Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal. The scam involves politicians, senior officials and businessmen who took bribe through middlemen to give students high ranks in these entrance tests.
The whistleblowers are Ashish Chaturvedi, Dr. Anand Rai and Prashant Pandey. A number of people connected to the scam and its investigation, died during the course of investigation. Allegedly several of these deaths happened under suspicious circumstances.
TIMELINE OF THE SCAM:
1982: Vyaysayik Pareeksha Mandel (Vyapam) set up to conduct entrance examinations for professional courses
1995: Cases of irregularities in these entrance tests reported.
2000: First FIR recorded against the board.
2004: 7 cases registered in Khandwa district, though no investigation was done.
2008: Recruitment tests for government jobs also included in the exam.
July 5, 2009: Widespread irregularities in recruitments come to light
2009: Medical exam paper leaked; first complaint filed
Dec, 2009: Major complaints surfaced in the Pre-medical test (PMT). Chief Minister forms panel to probe the scam.
2011: Over a 100 people arrested.
July 7, 2013: Police register FIR; Indore police arrested 20 people impersonating candidates for PMT’09.
July 16, 2013: Interrogation of these people led to the arrest of the leader of the racket Jagdish Sagar.
Aug 26, 2013: Special Task Force (STF) established by the state government. 55 FIRs registered -45 related to admissions in professional courses and 10 to recruitment in government services on the recommendation of high-profile persons
Oct 9, 2013: Admissions of 345 examinees cancelled
Dec 18,2013: Ex-Higher Education Minister Laxmikant Sharma booked
April 16, 2014: 14 written petitions filed before the High Court of MP at Jabalpur seeking transfer of the investigation STF to CBI.
2014: Madhya Pradesh High Court rejected Congress leader Digvijay Singh’s petition for CBI probe and instead ordered setting up of a special investigation team (SIT) to act as a watchdog for the court.
June 2015: -By June more than 2000 people arrested in connection with the scam comprising of several , politicians, bureaucrats, MPPEB officials, racket leaders, middlemen, candidates and their parents in the scam.
Jun 29, 2015: SIT says 23 people related to scam died due to ‘Unnatural causes”; unofficial count puts figure at 46
July 2015: –After an increasing number of suspicious deaths, Chouhan informed media that he will write to High Court of Madhya Pradesh requesting to order a CBI probe into the scam.
-On the same day, the opposition National Congress Party requested for resignation of Chouhan to allow fair probe into the scam.
July 7, 2015: The Supreme Court of India transferred the case to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The CBI will effectively be in charge of the investigations from Monday.
July 9, 2015: The Bench had scheduled four petitions,- one by Congress leader Digvijay Singh, along with two petitions seeking the removal of the State’s Governor Ram Naresh Yadav.
July 24, 2015: Court scheduled next hearing for the case. The Bench said it will look into death threats faced by whistleblowers.
STATUS UPDATE OF EVENTS:
1 The Supreme Court issued notices to the Madhya Pradhesh High Court, the Central government and M.P. Governor Ram Naresh Yadav on a plea seeking the Governor’s removal from his post.
2 Police ordered a review of the suspicious death of MBBS student Namrata Damor. Her body was found near railway tracks in the Ujjain district in 2012 after her name figured in the scam. Earlier, police had registered a “murder” case in this regard and later termed the incident as an “accident” and closed the case.
3 Under pressure, MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan made a U-turn and decided to seek a CBI investigation into the case.
4 Supreme Court agreed to hear a petition seeking removal of Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav over his alleged involvement in the scam.
5 The Congress and Aam Aadmi Party demanded a SC-monitored probe in to the case following the series of deaths of people associated to the scam.
6 Adding to the string of deaths, the body of trainee sub-inspector Anamika Sikarwar was found in a lake adjacent to the Police Training Academy at Sagar district headquarters in Madhya Pradesh. The Chief Minister was quick to deny that the incident was linked to the Vyapam scam.
7 Whistleblower Ashish Chaturvedi, 26, claimed that there was a grave threat to his life and accused Chouhan of being “directly involved” in the scam, a charge shunned by the CM.
8 While journalist Akshay Singh was covering the scam in Jhabua the Dean of Jabalpur Medical College Arun Sharma was found dead under mysterious circumstances in a hotel at Dwarka in south-west Delhi. Police on Monday said no foul play was suspected in the death of Sharma.
9 Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the government cannot direct a High Court or Supreme Court to order a CBI probe into the scam.
10 Two senior officers of the Special Task Force (STF) investigating the MPPEB scam claimed to have received threats allegedly from some influential people involved in the racket.
INTENSITY OF THE SCAM:
Vyapam admitted in the High Court that 1020 forms were missing and 346 imposters had appeared in the exam. Vyapam officials admitted in the court that Vyapam official and accused Nitin Mahendra had tampered with the Computers in which the student records were stored.
The STF has presented charge-sheet against 28 accused, including Jagdish Sagar, in Indore Court. The fact that the charge-sheet includes details of 3292 different offences and more than 92,176 documents is indicative of the enormity of the scam.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.