Vyapam Scam Timeline
Vyapam Scam is up in the air which is about fraudulence and non-uniformity in the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board, popularly known by its Hindi acronym ‘Vyapam’ (Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal). More than 40 scholars have departed their lives since the disclosure of this scam in 2013. Accused, eye-witnesses and journalists who were carrying out researches have lost their lives under mysterious circumstances.
What is Vyapam?
The MPPEB (Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board) or Vyapam is one of the leading government bodies conducting various entrance tests in the state for recruitments in Government jobs and admissions to educational institutes in the State.
What is Vyapam Scam?
The Vyapam Scam, which is hitting the headlines these days, is an admission and recruitment scam comprising politicians, business persons, senior government personnel and others unburied in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. In this scam, the most undeserving candidates are also able to get admissions in renowned educational institutes by hush money to the politicians and MPPEB personnel through middlemen, to get high ranks in the examination or to safeguard jobs. Most of those who unburied these sleazy facts – stool pigeons and correspondents accountable for unburying the details— were passed away in skeptical circumstances. The three main stool pigeons of the case – social campaigners Dr Anand Rai, Ashish Chaturvedi and IT consultant Prashant Pandey have been receiving assassination threats.
Subsequent scrutiny found that the impersonators were being contracted to appear in the entrance exam on behalf of the registered candidates. For this, they were paid up to Rs.1,00,000/-. These scams have been materialised with the support of politicians and bureaucrats. This racketeering was engaged in exam fraud at regular intervals.
MPPEB authorities were also bribed for handing over the answer keys to the candidates well in advance and manipulation of answer sheets in order to give higher percentage to certain candidates. After the disclosure of scam in 2013, Dr Anand Rai, a professor at MGM Medical College, submitted an appeal seeking detailed research in the scam.
Consequently in October 2013, the Madhya Pradesh government formed a special task force in order to look into the swindle. Many big names were also included in the 2,000 detention made by June 2015. Racket leader Dr Jagdish Sagar and Sanjeev Shipakar, preceding Madhya Pradesh Technical Education Minister Laxmikanth Sharma, O.P. Shukla who was on special duty under Sharma and suspended IPS officer Sudhir Sharma were also detained in the scam.
CBI took over the investigation procedure in its hands in June 2015. In February 2017, CBI revealed that maximum of 121 people showed up as impersonators in this scam which was worth Rs. 2,000 crore. However, the Vyapam scam gained popularity for the spate of mysterious deaths that followed its unearthing in 2013. From the correspondents who examined the scam to middlemen who acted as a mediator in deals and with corrupt officials, dozens have departed their lives under inscrutable situations. On the basis of these grounds, it was dubbed as ‘killer scam’.
Since the mid-1990s, the irregularities in Vyapam entrance tests were being noticed. Most of the innocent lives were lost in accidents.
Here is the journey of Vyapam Scam:
Pre Medical Test Board, the name Vyapam was originally known by, established to conduct the examination for entrance to medical colleges.
The Pre Engineering Board constituted in 1981, is merged with the Pre Medical Test Board to create the Professional Examination Board (PEB), which holds entrance examinations for other educational institutions, as well.
The Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board Act is passed.
CHRONICLE OF THE SCAM
2000-12: 55 lawsuits of enactment in exams filed across Madhya Pradesh.
July 7th, 2013: After detaining 20 impersonators, Indore Crime Branch registered FIR when scam unearthed formally.
July 16th, 2013: Jagdish Sagar detained.
August 26th, 2013: STF took over the investigation.
October 9th, 2013: Outcomes of 345 who took PMT three months earlier abolished.
December 18, 2013: Ex-Higher Education Minister Laxmikant Sharma charged.
December 20, 2013: BJP vice-president Uma Bharti claimed for CBI investigation.
January 15, 2014: Shiv Raj Singh Chauhan told Assembly that 1,000 appointments were found illegitimate out of 1.47 lakh made since 2007, later figures revised to a little over 200. But no operation has been initiated as of now.
July 2nd, 2014: Chouhan said he will not only take political sanyas but relinquish the world if found guilty.
November 5th, 2014: HC constitutes SIT.
February 16th, 2014: Opposition Congress declared information sourced from a ‘stool pigeon’ (Prashant Pandey), alleging the STF was defending Chouhan.
February 20th, 2015: Pandey moved Delhi High Court said “he is scared of his life’.
April 16th, 2015: MP High Court gave ‘truth lab’ report and pen drive carrying retrieved original data to SIT, which asked STF to probe the issue.
April 22nd, 2015: A report was submitted by STF on stool pigeon’s allegation in a sealed cover to MP High Court.
April 24, 2015: HC prima facie accepted STF report that said the material submitted by stool pigeon was fabricated and counterfeited.
April 26th, 2015: Chouhan alleged Congress leader Digvijaya Singh of forgery.
June 29th, 2015: SIT reports 23 deaths of alleged and witnesses linked to the Vyapam Scam. Congress cries foul; BJP denied the cause of the death linked to Vyapam and said it was due to the natural causes.
July 7th, 2015: After months of rebuff, Chouhan gave up and agreed to be investigated by the CBI.
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