Thiruvananthapuram, 21 March, Sreeparvathy K.: Opposition leader VS Achuthanandan said that he will approach the Kerala…
New Delhi(PTI): The CBI on Sunday constituted a special team of 40 officers, under a Joint Director level officer, to probe the Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh.
The team comprising officers from different branches of the probe agency will reach Bhopal on Monday to take over investigations in the scam, an official said.
The agency remained tight-lipped on the information about the officers who would be part of the team or who will head it. It also dismissed as “incorrect and baseless” the reports about a Bihar-cadre officer heading the CBI team.
“In compliance to the orders of the Honourable Supreme Court of India, CBI has constituted a team to take over the investigation of all Vyapam related cases. The CBI team will reach Bhopal on Monday and the begin the process of taking over the investigation,” CBI Press Information Officer RK Gaur said on Sunday.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India HL Dattu, on July 9, had transferred the probe of all cases related to Vyapam scam to the CBI from Monday asking the investigating agency to file its report before it on July 24.
Before handing over the probe to CBI, the apex court took on record the submission of Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, who on behalf of the MP government, said the state has no objection on transferring the investigation of cases relating to Vyapam scam to CBI and the cases related to the deaths of people allegedly related to the scam for free and fair probe.
“We appreciate the stand of the AG. In view of the above we transfer investigation of all criminal cases relating to Vyapam scam and death of people allegedly related to it, to CBI,” the bench also comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Amitava Roy directed.
The apex court’s order transferring all Vyapam-related cases to the CBI came after the state government gave its consent to shifting the investigation from Special Investigation Team (SIT) and Special Task Force (STF).
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was under pressure from opposition, particularly Congress, to order a CBI probe following the death of Arun Sharma, the dean of a Jabalpur Medical College who was probing the scandal, on Sunday last.
Sharma’s death came a day after Akshay Singh, a journalist of the TV Today group, doing stories on Vyapam scam trail, died minutes after he had interviewed the parents of a deceased accused.
At least five people associated with Vyapam, including Sharma and Singh, have died under mysterious circumstances in the last 10 days.
The opposition claimed that 45 people linked to the scam in one or other way have died, though the official figure of “unnatural deaths” so far is 25.
The multi-crore rupees 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 teachers, medical officers, forest guards and constables.