PEB scam: Congress demands MP Chief Minister’s resignation
Bhopal: Congress party today launched a frontal attack on Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and demanded his immediate resignation accusing him and his family members of involvement in the massive State professional Examination Board scam.
Th Chief Minister was prompt in rubbishing the charges leveled against him and his family. He said the credibility of former chief minister and Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh, who has hurled the allegation against him, is already at the rock bottom.
Senior Congress leaders Digvijay Singh, Kamal Nath, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Suresh Pachouri, State Congress President Arun Yadav, leader of Opposition in State Assembly Satyadev Katare, senior Supreme Court laywers KTS Tulsi and Vivek Tanka addressed a joint press conference at the Congress headquarters here this evening and circulated copies of Digvijay Singh’s affidavit submitted earlier today to the Special Investigation team appointed by the Jabalpur High Court to supervise the investigation being conducted by the Special task Force of Madhya Pradesh Police into the PEB scam linked with the pre-medical test (PMT) and recruitment of government staff, including contractual teachers and transport department employees.
Addressing media-persons, the Congress leaders were unanimous in raising the demand for the chief minister’s resignation. Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh said that the chief minister should imemdiately step down to allow free and fair investigation. Otherwise, he should either give an affidavit to the SIT to counter his affidavit or file a defamation case against him. The Congress leaders said that they will take this matter to its logical end. The facts of the case have already been put in the public domain and now the issue will also be raised in the Assembly as well as on the road. they announced.
Through his affidavit, which senior Congress leader and supreme Court lawyer Kapil Sibal has wetted, Singh has submitted that cloning of the hard discs of the then examination controller of PEB Nitin Mahindra that were sent to Directorate of Forensic Sciences, Gandhinagar by Indore local police on July 22, 2013 had been done.On September 29, 2013, the STF again sent these hard discs to DFS Gujarat for analysis after recording that cloning had been done by DFS Gujarat. The affidavit goes on to point out that under section 65A and 65 B of the Evidence Act, the mandatory requirements for seizure of electronic records, devices and computer had not been followed. It has been pointed out that the investigating agency did not take the hash value of the Hard Disc while it was connected to the computer that has not been seized. The hash value is the sum total of the data (actual and deleted) at the time of seizure while the hard disc is connected to the computer to eliminate chances of tampering. There is no document in the chargesheet which records that hash value of the hard disc of Nitin Mahindra was taken at the time of seizure.
Singh has stated in his affidavit that the Excel Sheet submitted in charge-sheet of crime no. 19/2013 regarding Samvida Shiksha Varg-II (contractual teachers class-II) examination is fudged and tampered with by the investigating agencies.
Singh goes on to point out that he is also submitting wirth his affidavit an origial Excel Sheet retrieved from the deleted data (which was on the computer of Nitin Mahindra) consisting of 131 serial numbers where “CM” appears at 18 places. The investigating agencies have manipulated and replaced “CM” with “Minister” at 21 places, “m/s” at 1 place, “Umabhartiji” at 7 places. Further at 18 places “CM” has altogether been remove4d leaving a blank.
The affidavit gos on to point out that the STF has made former state minister Laxmikant Sharma, now in custody in this case, a scapegoat by fastening criminal liability on him in the case wherever “Minister” is mentioned in the Excel Sheet. In the original Excel Sheet, Minister-1, Minister-2 and Minister-3 were also mentioned and the STF has done nothing to uinearth who these ministers were.’
Further, Singh’s affidavit goes on to say that Laxmikant sharma has been put behind bars drawing inference that “Minister” in Excel Sheet was pointing to him. With the same logic, even the chief minister should be booked for the same crime. Even with regard a supplementary chargesheet in crime No 19/2013, the name of Shailesh Yadav, son of the serving State Governor figures, whereas in the original Excel Sheet “CM” is mentioned.
Also the SIT has been asked to call for the original call, SMS and email details and records of the prime accused from the service providers.It has been alleged that the the CDRs submitted by the STF are tampered with to shield the chief minister and his family.