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Digvijaya moves Supreme Court for CBI probe into Vyapam cases

Seeking a fair probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the VYAPAM scam, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court accusing the Madhya Pradesh government and the Special Investigation Team probing the scam of ignoring crucial evidence and attempting to tarnish him as a person who “fabricated and forged to mislead the investigation”.

The petition comes at a time when the State government is facing questions about the deaths of over 40 witnesses and accused in the scam.

In his petition before the Supreme Court, Mr. Singh recounts that an “external whistleblower” had approached him in December 2014-January 2015 under threat of life from high-profile persons of Madhya Pradesh and State police agencies.

“The whistleblower was privy to very sensitive incriminating/damaging information regarding

the involvement of Chief Minister and Chief Minister’s family in VYAPAM scam,” the petition said.

It said that Mr. Singh approached the SIT on February 16, 2015 with the whistleblower's digital information and documents, which included an Excel sheet allegedly with acronyms of persons involved in the scam.

It said that no action was taken by either SIT or Special Task Force (STF) on the information. Instead a report was prepared on April 22 by the SIT on the sole basis of a demonstration given by the STF that the evidence was doctored.

Subsequently, the Madhya Pradesh High Court on April 24, 2015 also agreed with the SIT report.

Seeking to quash both the SIT report and the April 24 High Court order, Mr, Singh said the report entirely banked on the demonstration given by STF, which is both “ill-equipped and ill-trained to handle the nuances of digital forensics”.

Mr. Singh said neither the High Court nor the SIT took into consideration the fact that documents had already been authenticated by the Truth Lab, a renowned forensic lab with several retired judges on board, in Bangalore.

Further, neither the High Court nor the SIT gave Mr. Singh an opportunity to be heard before they passed adverse findings against the evidence he provided.

Mr. Singh pointed to how Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan had called a press conference following the High Court order and “proclaimed that the petitioner (Digvijaya Singh) has been lying all along regarding the original excel sheet, has forged evidence and the Chief Minister has been given a clean chit by the SIT and the High Court”.

Noting that this press meet was widely covered by the media, Mr. Singh said it has tarnished his reputation and sought an injunction against such media reports.

The VYAPAM scam centres around the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board, which holds exams for positions like medical officers, constables, teachers and auditors for government departments. Candidates allegedly bribed government officials to ensure that they cleared the test.

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 2:00:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/digvijaya-moves-supreme-court-for-cbi-probe-into-vyapam-cases/article7370978.ece

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