Bhopal/New Delhi, July 8 (IANS) Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday urged the Supreme Court to order a CBI probe into the Vyapam recruitment scam even as the high court refused to pass any order for a CBI inquiry.
The Jabalpur bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court said the matter was pending in the Supreme Court and it would hear Chouhan’s plea only on July 20 — after the apex court passed its order, Additional Advocate General Pushpendra Kaurav told IANS.
The Congress and others have moved the Supreme Court urging that the Central Bureau of Investigation must probe the recruitment and admissions scandal in Madhya Pradesh that has reportedly claimed several lives.
The apex court will hear the matter on July 9.
Vyapam (Vyavsayik Pareeksha Mandal) conducts recruitment and entrance exams not conducted by the MP Public Service Commission. The scam came to light in 2013. So far nearly 2,100 arrests have been made.
After coming under heavy criticism, the Madhya Pradesh government wrote to the high court on Tuesday to let the CBI probe the scam currently being investigated by a special team and monitored by the high court.
Chouhan said in New Delhi that he would request the Supreme Court to hand over the case to the CBI.
In the national capital on Wednesday to attend a meeting of the ministry of external affairs to review preparations for the World Hindi Conference, he rejected Congress and the BSP’s demand for his resignation, saying the Congress had been demanding his resignation since he became the chief minister.
Chouhan claimed he was the first person to initiated a thorough probe into what has come to be known as the Vyapam scam that allegedly involves politicians and businessmen.
“Our government was responsible for the extensive probe so far. Even then if there are doubts, let the CBI bring out the truth.
“The government is ready for a CBI probe and all those who are guilty should be punished.”
Continuing its attack on Chouhan, the Congress demanded separate investigations into the racket and the deaths connected to it.
“Both investigations should be done by the CBI and both should be monitored by the Supreme Court,” Congress leader R.P.N. Singh said in New Delhi.
“Vyapam is bigger than the Haryana recruitment scam and the Bihar fodder scam,” Singh said, adding any Supreme Court-monitored probe should be time-bound.
In Lucknow, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati sought the resignation of Chouhan over the Vyapam scam.
The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said the series of deaths of witnesses made the government a suspect and said Chouhan must immediately step down.
Meanwhile, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi began the histopathological examination of the viscera samples of TV journalist Akshay Singh who died on Saturday while covering the story in Madhya Pradesh.
But the institute refused a toxicology examination saying it didn’t have the mandate to conduct it.
The AIIMS urged the Madhya Pradesh Police to send the samples to the Forensic Science Laboratory where it would be ascertained if the reporter was poisoned or not.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal meanwhile offered a government job to the sister of the journalist. Chouhan is also expected to meet the family.