Tag Archives: PEB scam

High Court order comes as huge respite for Governor Ramnaresh Yadav

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Ram Naresh Yadav
Ram Naresh Yadav

Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh, India): The High Court of Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday passed an order quashing the FIR registered against MP Governor Ramnaresh Yadav by the Special Task Force (STF) of Madhya Pradesh Police handling the case linked with the massive State professional Examination Board (PEB) scam.

The Court has left scope for Yadav’s prosecution in the PEB scam case but only after he ceases to be Governor. The High Court order says that the STF can record the Governor’s statement “taking all salutary precautions and observe circumspection” to uphold the majesty of the office of the governor.

The STF had registered an FIR against Yadav over the allegation that he had recommended names for recruitment of government employees. Yadav had approached the High Court taking the plea that the Governor enjoys immunity against court proceedings. The High Court had earlier on April 17 granted interim stay to the FIR lodged against the Governor

CAT member Ranjana Chowdhary grilled by STF in PEB scam case

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Ranjana Chowdhary, Member 9A) Central Administrative Tribunal, Hyderabad
Ranjana Chowdhary, Member 9A) Central Administrative Tribunal, Hyderabad

Bhopal: Retired IAS officer and Member of Central Administrative Tribunal at Hyderabad Ranjana chowdhary was interrogated by the Special Task Force of Madhya Pradesh Police for marathon 11 hours in the State capital on Saturday.

Chowdhary was asked to reply to a series of questions relating to the 2012 Pre-PG examination coinciding with her tenure as Chairperson of the State Professional Examination Board, She was asked about her role as member of the model question paper committee since the question paper for that year’s examination had got leaked and was in circulation through middle-men even before the sealed covers containing the question papers were opened.

PEB scam: High Court accepts SIT report declaring Diggy’s “evidence” against CM as forged

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pebBhopal: On Friday when Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister shivraj Singh Chouhan was performing the sacred pooja of Narmada marking the release of Narmada water in Barwani district from the massive Indira Sagar project, he got a big relief as the Jabalpur High Court division bench of Chief Justice Ajay Khanvilkar and Justice Alok Aradhe acceptied the report of the Special Investigation Team of Madhya Pradesh Police that goes on to point out that the Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh had submitted forged evidence provided by the whistle blower Prashant Pandey to implicate the chief minister in the State Professional Examination Board scam.

As the Jabalpur High Court has accepted the SIT report, both Digvijay Singh and Prashant Pandey are likely to face crimnal charges.

According to available information,  the High Court has been informed by the SIT that the material provided by Singh in sealed envelopes was forged. Singh earlier had submitted to SIT an affidavit backed by some top Supreme Court lawyers accusing the chief minister and his family of involvement in the PEB scam. The Congress General Secretary alleged that an excel sheet prepared from the duplicate of the hard disc recovered from the PEB examination Controller’s computer, which had been taken on record by the SIT, had been tampered with and fudged by the SIT to protect the chief minister

PEB scam: STF to quiz former bureaucrat now a member of Central Administrative Tribunal

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pebBhopal: Latest reports relating to the massive Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (PEB) scam indicate that a team of Special Task Force of State Police would be going to Hyderabad to question Ranjana Chowdhary, retired IAS officer borne on the Madhya Pradesh cadre. She earlier headed the PEB and is now Member (A) at the Hyderabad bench of Central Administrative Tribunal.

Former examination controller of Madhya Pradesh professional Examination Board (PEB) Pankaj Trivedi, who is a principal accused in the massive PEB scam, had given a statement to the STF more than a year ago alleging that from the money collected from students to guarantee their selection, he had given Rs. 42 lakh to a senior IAS officer earlier heading the Board.

After taking cognizance of a series of frauds linked with PEB involved in milk federation, police and contractual teacher recruitments and the conduct of PMT examination, the STF had registered nine separate FIRS against several senior PEB officers and former Madhya Pradesh Higher Education minister Laxmikant Sharma and all of them are now in jail.

Pankaj Trivedi’s statement forms part of the 700 page challan put up in a court here on January 22, 2014. Trivedi had told the STF that he had received Rs. 75 lakh from Nitin Mahindra, who was the PEB computer section in-charge. From this amount, he had given Rs. 42 lakh to Ms. Ranjana Chowdhary, who was chairperson of PEB for more than two years between February 2010 and June 2012. About the remaining amount he told STF that it was handed over to his wife.

When the deputy superintendent of Police (STF) D.S. Baghel was contacted (January 2014), he had said: “it beats imagination why the accused would give such a huge amount to a senior IAS officer a month after she had left the Board.“ At the same time, he also said that Ms. Chowdhary will be interrogated regarding the examinations conducted during her tenure as PEB chairperson. Ms. Chowdhary did not come online when attempts were made to contact her over phone at that stage.

Ms. Choudhary’s backgrounder on the CAT website proclaims that as chairperson of state PEB, she introduced fair, transparent and non-exploitative system of conduct of examinations and initiative had been taken by the Board to cover recruitment to Cass-III and IV posts which comprise more than 70 per cent of the total manpower. In 2012, thirty-one recruitment examinations were conducted in which 35 lakh candidates appeared for about one lakh vacancies and this was an all time high. She has further empasised that all these examinations were conducted smoothly and no untoward incident was reported.

The main opposition Congress has made the PEB scam a major issue against the State BJP Government.

PEB scam: Madhya Pradesh Governor’s son dies under mysterious circumstances

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Lucknow/Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav’s son Shailesh, who is as an accused in the massive State Professional Examination Board scam has died under mysterious circumstances at his father’s official Mall Avenue residence here today.

While sources said Shailesh, who was under extreme stress due to the PEB scam, died of brain hemorrhage, police stated that the exact cause of his death has to be ascertained.

MP GovernorIn Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pardesh, the State Governor, who is also an accused in the PEB scam and there is an FIR registered against him by the Special task Force of Police in this case, was rushed to hospital and admitted in the ICU with respiratory symptoms.

Digvijay stopped from addressing journalists in Madhya Pradesh Assembly Press room

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digvijay-singhBhopal: Congress general secretary and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh was today declared an outsider by an order of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly Speaker Sitasharan Sharma and stopped stopped from holding a press conference in Assembly’s Press Room.

Today the Congress legislators barged into the well of the House where they sat on protest demanding point-to-point reply, assurance and action from the Government on their demands relating to the hail-hit farmers. Even after the House was adjourned sine die, the main opposition members continued with their protest.

The Speaker’s order, which was handed over to Mr. Singh when he wanted to address the press on the massive State Professional Examination Board (PEB) scam after watching the House proceedings from the Speaker’s gallery stated that the press room in the Assembly building was not for “outsiders.”

The order issued by the Assembly principal Secretary on behalf of the Speaker said: “except a minister or member of the House, no outsider will be allowed to hold a press meet inside the Assembly.”

A special one-day session of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly had been convened to pass the supplementary budget as the Budget session was adjourned sine die due to high voltage protest by the main opposition Congress on PEB scam.

The Congress general secretary reacted strongly on being prevented from addressing media persons. He retorted by saying they cannot call a a five-time Assembly member and a two-term Chief Minister as an outsider. “My voice cannot be silenced by them”, he added.

PEB scam: High Court issues notice to STF on Governor Ram Naresh Yadav’s petition

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MP GovernorJabalpur: A division bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court comprising Chief Justice A M Khanvilkar and Justice Alok Aradhe Monday issued notice to the Special Task Force (STF) of Madhya Pradesh Police probing the State Professional Examination Board (PEB) scam and also sought opinion from the Attorney General of India regarding immunity guaranteed to the Governors under Article 361 of the Constitution.

The STF recently registered an FIR against state Governor Ram Naresh Yadav for alleged involvement in the PEB scam

Senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani appeared on behalf of the Governor, who has refused to quit office after the registration of FIR. The Governor has sought quashing of the FIR against him

The next hearing of the case is on march 25.

“The unwanted Governor”

Lalit Shastri

constitutionAfter Prime Minister Narendra Modi had accepted R.K. Pachouri’s resignation from the PM`s Council on Climate Change following allegation by a 29-year-old researcher with The Energy Resources Institute (TERI) that Dr Pachauri (75), had been sexually harassing her, a former diplomat, who has had first-hand global exposure to the universally embraced position that slipping on the moral ground is unacceptable when the credibility of the high and mighty is at stake, had responded by quipping “Pachouri should have been sacked.”

Credibility – not only of the high and mighty but even that of the Indian Federal system and the writ of the Constitution – has been challenged as Madhya Pradesh Govenor Ram Naresh Yadav has refused to step down even after a first information report (FIR) was registered against him by the Special task Force of Madhya Pradesh Police in a case linked with the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board and the massive recruitment and medical admission scam. In the case of Yadav, it is not just the needle of suspicion that is pointing at him. The police have even registered a case and accused him of committing a criminal offence. Already an axed OSD to the Governor Dhanraj Yadav is in jail facing prosecution in the PEB scam case and allegations are also mounting against the Governor’s son.

As Yadav has refused to hold the high moral ground and resign, he should have been removed by the President on the advice of the Union Council of Ministers. [Under Article 155 and Article 156 of the Constitution, a Governor of a state is an appointee of the President, and he or she holds office “during the pleasure of the President”. Because the President is bound to act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers under Article 74 of the Constitution, in effect it is the Central Government that appoints and removes the Governors. “Pleasure of the President” only means the wish of the Central Government].

Last August, Supreme Court of India had admitted a petition by the Mizoram Governor and the then Governor of Uttarakhand Dr. Aziz Qureshi. He has challenged the conduct of the Union Home Secretary who had called and asked for his resignation. Qureshi has sought the apex court’s direction with regard to Article 156 of the Constitution that spells out the only manner in which a Governor of a State can be removed. In this backdrop it is strange that the present Governor was also directed by the Home Ministry to resign.

In the case of Yadav, the entire issue of credibility has been swept under the carpet as the Governor has chosen not to vacate his office and approached the Jabalpur High Court with a petition asking that the FIR against him be quashed. In the process, while the High Court is seized of the matter, Yadav hopes to continue as Governor. Notwithstanding the general mood of the people, when a large cross-section of citizens are saying “he is an unwanted governor”, the tenure of the present Madhya Pradesh Governor would obviously get prolonged despite the charges against him only as per the wish of the Central Government and with the “Pleasure of the President”.

Reflecting on the present controversy, the Governor’s office and the issue of credibility and constitutional authority and good governance, it would be appropriate to look back at events as they unfolded about 22-years ago. In June 1993, there was an exclusive news story by me in The Hindu with Bhopal dateline revealing how the then Madhya Pradesh Governor Kunwar Mahmud Ali Khan was communalising the Bhopal police stations in the post-Ayodhya scenario during President’s rule. As an obvious follow-up of that story the Governor was dismissed and was relieved on June 23, 1993 at the direct initiative of the then Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao.

In the wake of the Ayodhya riots, when Madhya Pradesh was brought under President’s Rule, the Governor had ordered an inquiry by the state GAD secretary into the acts of omission and commission by bureaucrats and police officers leading to the riots and aggravating the situation. There was a follow-up story by me again in The Hindu questioning the inquiry by a relatively junior officer when the State chief secretary and Director General of Police were also under the purveiw of inquiry as they were monitoring the riot situation on a continuous basis by remaining present in the Police control room. The Governor had responded immediately and the entire process was upgraded by appointing a Judicial commission of Inquiry. Subsequently, when it was pointed out by me through the columns of The Hindu that the objectivity of Inquiry could be established only by replacing the then Chief Secretary and the DGP, the Governor was quick in announcing their removal (second fortnight of December 1992). After this, a constitutional crisis persisted for several days as one of the Advisers to the Governor, holding the General Administration Department (GAD) portfolio, had put his foot down and refused to implement the Governor’s order. Again, on January 1, 1993 I did a piece in The Hindu drawing the Union Government’s attention towards this critical issue. The same morning the Governor got a command from the Centre asking him to divest the erring Adviser, a former chief secretary, of the GAD portfolio take up the task of enforcing his own order.That forenoon, the Governor drove to the State secretariat and occupied the chief minister’s chamber – the first time any governor did that in Madhya Pradesh – to oversee the removal of the chief secretary and DGP. It is an entirely a different story that the same Governor was later removed when he got derailed and had violated the letter and spirit of the Constitution.

MP Assembly Budget Session 2015 Adjourned Sine Die

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mp assemblyBhopal: The Budget session of Madhya Pradesh Assembly was adjourned sine die much ahead of schedule this afternoon after the House had passed the State Budget for 2015-16 without discussing the demand proposals.

The House also passed two amendment Bills–one relating to the Cooperative Societies and the other linked to civic bodies.

The Assembly witnessed noisy scenes and the proceedings were continuously disrupted as the main opposition Congress MLAs remained unrelenting and continued to corner the ruling side and more particularly chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on the highly volatile PEB scam. The Opposition even did not allow the chief minister to reply to the debate on teh Governor’s address two days ago.

PEB scam: Office of Governor comes under a cloud

Lalit Shastri

Ram Naresh Yadav
Ram Naresh Yadav

Ram Naresh Yadav was Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh from 1977 to 1979.  He was formerly with Janata Party and later joined the Congress and was appointed Governor of Madhya Pradesh in August 2011.

As Yadav refused to hold the high moral ground and chose not to submit his papers when his name was dragged in the first instance in the PEB scam, the Centre should have intervened and asked him to go. Failure on his part to oblige should have led to his removal by the President–obviously on the advice of the Union Council of Ministers. This would have helped in upholding the dignity of the high office of the Governor.

After the Special Task Force of Madhya Pradesh Police registered an FIR against Ram Naresh Yadav on February 24 following Jabalpur High Court’s intervention and disclosures by the prime accused and also on the basis of prima facie evidence showing his alleged involvement in the masssive State professional examination Board scam, the Union Home Ministry asked him to resign.

The Congress decision to hand-pick Yadav and his appointment as Madhya Pradesh Governor during the previous Manmohan Singh regime does raise eye brows. The Intelligence Bureau has a state unit in Bhopal and is supposed to keep a tab and report to the Centre if the working of the Governor, his family members and officials is not above board and lowers the prestige of the Constitutional office of the Governor. Such reports should help in containing a problem before it blows up into a crisis. This is exactly what did not happen that too when even commoners had started shouting from rooftop about the involvement of “Rajbhawan” in the PEB scam, which is linked with the recruitment of government employees.

It would be naive to imagine that those at the helm of the Congress-led UPA Government were unaware of the goings on at Rajbhawan in Bhopal. Obviously the Congress bosses had brought Yadav as Governor of Madhya Pradesh with the motive of using whatever influence he might be having in Uttar Pradesh in the Yadav community to counter Mulyama Singh Yadav and his Samajwadi Party during elections and in return the Manmohan Singh Government chose to tun a nelson’s eye to all that was going on in Rajbhawan. Already the axed OSD to the Governor Dhanraj Yadav is in jail facing prosecution in the PEB scam case.

Perhaps this is for the first time since Independence, we have a Governor against whom an FIR has been registered by the Police under several Sections of the IPC and also the Anti-corruption law.

While the President is elected by the representatives of the people, namely, the Members of Parliament and the Members of the State Legislatures, the Governor is merely appointed by the President which really means, by the Union Council of Ministers. The Governor holds office during the pleasure of the President and can be removed by the President at any time.

As Yadav refused to hold the high moral ground and chose not to submit his papers when his name was dragged in the first instance in the PEB scam, the Centre should have intervened and asked him to go. Failure on his part to oblige should have led to his removal by the President–obviously on the advice of the Union Council of Ministers. This would have helped in upholding the dignity of the high office of the Governor.

The Indian Constitution and Governor’s authority

  • Article 154 vests the executive power of the State in the Governor.
  • Article 159 prescribes the oath, which a Governor has to take before entering upon his office. He has to swear in the name of God/solemnly affirm that he “will faithfully execute the office of Governor (or discharge the functions of the Governor) and will to the best of ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and the law and will devote to the service and well-being of the people.
  • According to Article 168, the Legislature of a State shall consist of the Governor and the Legislative Assembly.
  • Article 161 vests in the Governor the power to grant pardons, reprieves, etc.
  • Article 164(1) says “The Chief Minister shall be appointed by the Governor and the other Ministers shall be appointed by the Governor on the advice of the Chief Minister and shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor”.
  • Assent to Bills under Article 200 says the Governor shall not assent to, but shall reserve for the consideration of the President, any Bill which in the opinion of the Governor would, if it became law, so derogate from the powers of the High Court as to endanger the position which that Court is by this Constitution designed to fill.

PEB Scam: MP Governor Ram Naresh Yadav submits resignation?

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MP GovernorBhopal: Has Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav  submitted his resignation on being asked by the Union home ministry to step down after the Special task Force of Madhya Pradesh Police registered an FIR against him under various sections of IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act in connection with the massive State Professional Examination Board scam also known as “Vyapam” scam?

Everyone was asking this question in the state capital today but there was no official confirmation of the Governor’s resignation.

Yadav, a former Uttar Pradesh chief minister, is the first Indian governor booked in a cheating case. He has been charged of criminal conspiracy and for his role in manipulating the screening process and recommending names for selection as forest guards.

The FIR against Yadav was registered after a division bench of Jabalpur High Court comprising Chief Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice Alok Aradhe told the STF to proceed against the “high dignitary”.

The Governor’s former OSD Dhanraj Yadav is already in jail facing prosecution in the PEB case. His son Shailesh’s name has also figured during interrogation of the accused.

PEB scam: Digvijay submits pendrive and mobile numbers to SIT

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digvijay-singhBhopal: Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh today submitted a sealed envelope with a pen drive containing a spread sheet as part of recovery from an MS-Excel file to the Special Investigation team (SIT) monitoring the investigation into the Madhya Pradesh Professional examination Board (PEB) scam linked with recruitment of government staff and medical entrance examination.

SIT has been informed by Singh that the spread sheet is from a file written by Nitin Mahindra, who is a prime accused in the PEB case.

Singh has also provided to the SIT certain phone and mobile numbers of the accused persons for detailed analysis and said that SIT may call for the original call detail records from the service providers and compare it with the original one provided by the investigating agencies. The Congress leader has also submitted the phone mumbers of certain persons pointing out that the call detail records and the SMS sent and received between these numbers would corroborate that the Chief Minister and his office were in direct touch with these numbers. he has even alleged that this was to facilitate illegal admissions and recruitment through PEB

PEB scam: Special Task Force registers FIR against MP Governor

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MP GovernorBhopal: The Special Task Force of Madhya Pradesh POlice, which is investigating the State Professional Examination Board (PEB) scam linked with irregularities in conducting the entrance examination for medical colleges (PMT) and recruitment of candidates for various government departments today registered an FIR against state Governor Ram Naresh Yadav, according to unconfirmed reports.

Pressure is now mounting on Governor Ram Naresh Yadav to resign.

In the State Assembly, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was prevented by the opposition members to give a reply to the debate on the Governor’s address to mark the Budget session

Former State Education Minister Lakshmikant Sharma, a former OSD to the Governor, many PEB officers and a large number of students, candidates, their parents and middlemen are in presently in jail facing prosecution in the case linked alleged irregularities in the recruitment of Grade II and III Contractual Teachers.

The prominent Congress leaders from Madhya Pradesh led by AICC general secretary and former State chief minister Digvijay Singh, last week levelled charges even against state chief minister shivraj Singh Chouhan in connection with the PEB scam. Mr. singh also gave an affidavit to the Spacial Investigation Team (SIT), which is monitoring the investigation into the PEB scam by the STF alleging that vital evidence of this case has been tampered with to protect the chief minister.

The chief minister has issued a firm denial and also written to the SIT chief to probe Digvijay Singh’s allegation, which he has also described as “misleading”

In the meanwhile, the Delhi High Court has ordered police protection for a whistleblower, based on whose inputs Digvijay Singh has given the affidavit to the SIT. The whistleblower says he is facing threat to his life .

PEB scam: Prosecuting agency to spare nobody

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pebBhopal: In Madhya Pradesh, particularly the State capital, all eyes this weekend have remained fixed on the next course of action by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) appointed by the Jabalpur High Court and the Special Task Force of Madhya Pradesh Police investigating the State Professional examination Board (PEB) scam as the High Court reportedly has directed the prosecuting agency to take appropriate action in case of a “high dignitary”  linked with this case.

State Governor Ram Naresh Yadav should be finding himself against the wall as his former OSD and a close relative Dhanraj is in jail facing prosecution for alleged involvement in the PEB scam which revolves around massive irregularities in the pre-medical– PMT examinations — and recruitment of contractual teachers and other government staff. The name of the Governor’s son has also surfaced in this matter.

In these circumstances, it is being speculated that before the investigating agency places the status report in the High Court on Monday, the State Governor might be compelled to submit his resignation.

State chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will be in New Delhi today to discuss the PEB scam with the ruling BJP leadership.

PEB scam: Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav faces heat

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MP Governor
Ram Naresh Yadav

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav is facing the heat and pressure is mounting on him to resign after his son Shailesh Yadav’s name got linked with the massive State Professional Examination Board scam. The former OSD to the Governor and his relative Dhanraj Singh Yadav has been arrested in this case.

Yesterday on the first day of the budget session of Madhya Pradesh Assembly, the Governor’s address was disrupted by the agitated Congress members who were vocal in demanding his resignation. They did not allow him to speak beyond a few minutes and his address was treated as read. The Governor is adamant that he would not resign.

In a related development, following the accusations hurled at chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his family regarding involvement in the PEB scam by Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh and other top Congress leaders, including Jyotiraditya Scindia, Kamal Nath, Suresh Pachouri, State Congress chief Arun Yadav and leader of Opposition in Assembly Satyadev Katare, at a press conference two days ago. the chief minister wrote a letter to the special investigation team (SIT) chief urging that the “misleading complaint lodged against him by Digvijay Singh shoulde be investigated to put the record straight before the people.

The Congress has leveled allegations that the PEB recruitment related data presernted before the court by the Special Task Force (STF) of Madhya Pradesh Police has been tampered with to protect the chief minister.

The Congress adopted a two-pronged strategy. While on one side the Congress legislators disrupted the Assembly proceedings, a couple of hundred Youth Congress activists, on the other, led by State Congress chief Arun Yadav, Youth Congress president Kunal Choudhary and Digvijaya Singh’s son Jaivardhan Singh, who is also an MLA, staged a protest demonstration on the streets. The police used water canons before arresting the protesters.

PEB scam: CM Shivraj writes to SIT, seeks probe into Digvijay’s “misleading” complaint

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Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has written to the special investigation team (SIT) chief to immediately probe the “misleading complaint” by Congress general secretary and former Chief Minister Digvijay Singh regarding the examinations for contractual school teacher-2, contractual school teacher-3 and assistant grade-3 conducted by the State Professional Examination Board (PEB).

The SIT has been appointed by the Jabalpur High Court to supervise the investigations into the PEB scam,

In his letter, the Chief Minister has sought immediate investigation about the complaint filed by Singh leveling allegations and raising questions about investigation into his complaint regarding the examinations for recruiting contractual school teacher-2 and 3 and assistant grade-3 conducted. Singh also presented an unauthorized Excel Sheet in which, he has claimed, “CM” has been written at 47 places. He said that immediate investigation into this misleading complaint will establish the truth of the matter before the public.

PEB scam: Congress demands MP Chief Minister’s resignation

20150216_172816Bhopal: 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.

20150216_164706Addressing 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.

No bail for a year in MBBS Entrance Examination case for high profile undertrial: Apex Court order

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pebNew Delhi, Feb. 4: A two-Judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel today set aside an appeal by Dr. Vinod Bhandari, the Managing Director of Shri Aurobindo Institute of Medical Sciences (S.A.I.M.S), who had challenged a Jabalpur High Court order dismissing his bail application.

Dr. Bhandari is now in judicial custody in a case linked with the massive Madhya Pradesh Vyavsayik Pareeksha Mandal (M.P. Professional Examination Board) scam.

The Supreme Court has said in its order: “Undoubtedly, the offence alleged against the appellant has serious adverse impact on the fabric of the society. The offence is of high magnitude indicating illegal admission to large number of undeserving candidates to the medical courses by corrupt means. Apart from showing depravity of character and generation of black money, the offence has the potential of undermining the trust of the people in the integrity of medical profession itself, the Supreme Court order says.It goes on to add: “If undeserving candidates are admitted to medical courses by corrupt means, not only the society will be deprived of the best brains treating the patients, the patients will be faced with undeserving and corrupt persons treating them in whom they will find it difficult to repose faith. In these circumstances, when the allegations are supported by material on record and there is a potential of trial being adversely influenced by grant of bail, seriously jeopardising the interest of justice, we do not find any ground to interfere with the view taken by the trial Court and the High Court in declining bail.

It is certainly a matter of serious concern that the appellant has been in custody for about one year and there is no prospect of immediate trial. When a person is kept in custody to facilitate a fair trial and in the interest of the society, it is duty of the prosecution and the Court to take all possible steps to expedite the trial. Speedy trial is a right of the accused and is also in the interest of justice. We are thus, of the opinion that the prosecution and the trial Court must ensure speedy trial so that right of the accused is protected. This Court has already directed that the investigation be finally completed and final charge sheet filed on or before March 15, 2015. We have also been informed that a special prosecutor has been appointed and the matter is being tried before a Special Court. The High Court is monitoring the matter.

We expect that in these circumstances, the aoex court order says adding the trial will proceed day to day and its progress will be duly monitored. Material witnesses may be identified and examined at the earliest. Having regard to special features of this case, we request the High Court to take up the matter once in three months to take stock of the progress of trial and to issue such directions as may be necessary. We also direct that if the trial is not completed within one year from today for reasons not attributable to the appellant, the appellant will be entitled to apply for bail afresh to the High Court which may be considered in the light of the situation which may be then prevailing.
M.P. Professional Examination Board known as Vyapam conducts various tests for admission to professional courses and streams. It is a statutory body constituted under the provisions of M.P. Professional Examination Board Act, 2007.

As per FIR No.12 of 2013 registered on October 30, 2013 ((Digitally signed by Mahabir Singh Date: 2015.02.04) at police station, S.T.F., Bhopal under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 120B of the Indian Penal Code (“IPC”) read with Section 3(d), 1, 2/4 of the Madhya Pradesh Manyata Prapt Pariksha Adhiniyam, 1937 and under Sections 65 and 66 of the I.T. Act, Shri D.S. Baghel, DSP (STF), M.P. Police Headquarters, Bhopal during the investigation of another case found that copying was arranged in PMT Examination, 2012 at the instance of concerned officers of the Vyapam and middlemen who for monetary consideration helped the undeserving students to pass the entrance examination to get admission to the M.B.B.S course in Government and Private Medical Colleges in the State of M.P. As per the material collected during investigation, in pursuance of conspiracy, the appellant Dr. Vinod Bhandari, allegedly received money from the candidates through co-accused Pradeep Raghuvanshi who was working in Bhandari Hospital & Research Centre, Indore as General Manager and who was also looking after the admissions and management work of Shri Aurbindo Institute of Medical Sciences, Indore, for arranging the undeserving candidates to pass through the MBBS Entrance Examination by unfair means. He gave part of the money to Nitin Mohindra, Senior Systems Analyst in Vyapam, who was the custodian of the model answer key, along with Dr. Pankaj Trivedi, Controller of Vyapam. During investigation, disclosure statement was made by Pradeep Raghuvanshiwhich led to the recovery of money and documents. The candidates, their guardians, some officers of the Vyapam and middlemen were found to be involved in the scam. It appears that there are in all 516 accused out of which 329 persons have been arrested and 187 are due to be arrested. Substantial investigation has been completed and charge sheets filed but certain aspects are still being investigated and as per direction of this Court in a Petition for Special Leave to Appeal….No.16456 of 2014 titled “Ajay Dubey versus State of M.P. & Ors.”, final charge sheet is to be filed by the Special Task Force on or before March 15, 2015 against the remaining accused.

Allegations also include that some high scorer candidates were arranged in the examination centre who could give correct answers and the candidates who paid money were permitted to do the copying. Other modus operandi adopted was to leave the OMR sheets blank which blank sheets were later filled up with the correct answers by the corrupt officers of Vyapam. Further, the model answer key was copied and made available to concerned candidates one night before the examination. Each candidate paid few lakhs of rupees to the middlemen and the money was shared by the
middlemen with the officers of the Vyapam. The appellant received few crores of rupees in the process from undeserving candidates to get admission to the M.B.B.S. and, as per allegation in the other connected matter, i.e., FIR No.14 of 2013 registered on 20 th November, 2013 with the same police station, to the PG medical courses.

In the present case, the appellant was arrested on January 30, 2014 while in the other FIR he was granted anticipatory bail on January 16, 2014. Second Bail application of the appellant in the present case was considered by the 9th Additional Sessions Judge, Bhopal and dismissed on May 9, 2014. Earlier, first bail application had been dismissed on February 5, 2014. While declining prayer for bail, it was, observed :

In the present case, it is alleged against the
accused that he in connivance with the officers of
coordinator State level institution (VYAPAM) in
lieu of huge amount got the candidates selected
in the examination after getting them passed in
the Pre-Medical Test (PMT) Examination, which is
mandatory and important for admission in the
medical education institution. According to the
prosecution, applicant snatched right of
deserving and scholar students, he got selected
ineligible candidates in the field of medical
education. This case is not only related to
economic offence, rather apart from depriving
rights of deserving and scholar students, it is
related to the human life and health.

The Division Bench of the High Court, in its Order, referred to the supplementary challan filed against the appellant on April 24, 2014, indicating the following material :

Offence of the accused :
The accused Dr. Vinod Bhandari has been the
Managing Director of S.A.I.M.S., Indore and prior
to the P.M.T. Examination 2012 he had in
collusion with Nitin Mohindra, Senior System
Analyst of Vyapam, for getting some of his
candidates passed in the P.M.T. Examination,
2012 and stating to send list of his candidates
and cash amount through his General Manager
Pradeep Raghuvanshi, subsequently he sent list
of his 08 candidates and 60 lakh rupees in cash
through his General Manager and 07 candidates
out of aforesaid candidates were got passed by
using unfair means with the connivance of Nitin
Mohindra by way of filling up the circles in their
O.M.R. sheets and received the amount in
illegally manner by hatching conspiracy which
has been recovered/seized from his General
Manager Pradeep Raghuvanshi. In this manner,
the accused has committed a serious crime in
well designed conspiracy by hatching conspiracy
and committed organized crime.

Disposing the appeal the Supreme Court has made it clear that observations in judgment will not be treated as expression of any opinion on merits of the case and the trial Court can decide the matter without being influenced by any such observation.