No political conspiracy found in Vyapam, says CBI


(Agencies) NEW DELHI: In what will come as a major relief for Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has not found any “political conspiracy” or evidence of an “organized syndicate” in the Vyapam scam.
The CBI’s investigation into the admission and recruitment scam involving Madhya Pradesh’s professional examination board (popularly known as Vyapam) has indicated that most of the 155 cases probed so far are “individual” cases. Once released, the findings are likely to evoke sharp political reactions as Congress and some other opposition parties have demanded the resignation of the CM over the scandal, which has seen several suspects and witnesses die under mysterious circumstances . Congress members like Digvijaya Singh and P Chidrambaram have alleged that the multi-layered scam is directly linked to Chouhan, his family members and people close to him, while BJP has said that the case and deaths are not connected to the CM or the party.
A 40-member special investigation team of the CBI has been probing Vyapam-related irregularities since July last year. The agency is also specifically probing some 17 deaths — murders and suspicious suicides — in the state, which have been connected to Vyapam.
Top CBI sources told TOI that “there is no conclusive evidence of a political conspiracy in the Vyapam scam or whether it was run like an organised crime”.
“Most cases investigated so far appear to be individual cheating and corruption cases, and it is difficult to connect one case to the other. There are only a few cases where the accused are common or middleman have worked together. But all the cases are not connected,” said a top official. “Our probe has also revealed that corruption happened mostly at the junior level, not the political level. However, we are still waiting for several reports of fingerprinting experts, forensic reports of digital experts and document analysis experts, which are taking time,” the official added.When contacted for comments, CBI spokesperson Devpreet Singh said, “Our investigation is continuing. We have already registered 155 FIRs and filed six chargesheets in Vyapam-related cases.”
The CBI has probed some big names like former state technical education minister Laxmikant Sharma; Dhanraj Yadav, the then officer on special duty (OSD) to the Madhya Pradesh governor Ram Naresh Yadav; Gulab Singh Kirar, former member of the state Backward Classes Commission; and Sudhir Singh Bhadoria and Pankaj Trivedi, former Vyapam controllers of examinations.