The Madhya Pradesh High Court, in Jabalpur, on Wednesday rejected all the 14 petitions for transferring the probes into the education and recruitment scams of the Professional Examination Board (PEB) from the Special Task Force (STF) to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Several petitioners including Congress MLA Umang Singhar and former MLAs Sanjay Pathak and Paras Saklecha had alleged that the STF was under political pressure to let senior BJP leaders off the hook. So far at least 1,000 fraudulent recruitments in public services and 153 illegal medical admissions have come to light.

The petitioners argued that despite the names of several politicians and senior bureaucrats including former minister Laxmikant Sharma, BJP leader Sudhir Sharma and additional chief secretary Ajita Bajpai Pande were named in the case, none of them have been charge sheeted. Also, the evidence disclosed so far shows that the scam extends to several north Indian states, hence only a central agency was competent to handle the probe.

However, Chief Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice KK Trivedi opined that there was no evidence of any mishandling of the probe and hence there was not sufficient cause to transfer the case. The division bench ordered the STF to submit copies of all FIRs related to the cases to the HC before April 25.

Congress spokesman and petitioner KK Misra said, “We will challenge this decision in the Supreme Court. It is not a matter of political rivalry or personal vendetta; it’s a matter of hundreds of thousands of students who were cheated by those involved.”