Vyapam scam: Chouhan says MP to plea for CBI probe in SC as HC prefers to wait

The Madhya Pradesh High Court today deferred till 20 July the hearing on the plea of the state government seeking handing over the Vyapam scam probe to the CBI.

 Vyapam scam: Chouhan says MP to plea for CBI probe in SC as HC prefers to wait

Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan. AFP

A division bench of the MP High Court comprising Chief Justice Ajay Manikrao Khankilwar and justice Alok Aradhe deferred the hearing on the ground that the Supreme Court is to hear a clutch of similar pleas on Thursday, Additional Advocate General (AAG) P Kaurav told PTI.

According to Kaurav, the MP government's plea states that following the "recent unfortunate incidents" related to Vyapam, it wants a CBI probe into the scam. The plea says MP police's Special Task Force was efficiently probing the scam under supervision of the Special Investigation Team headed by a retired High Court judge Chandresh Bhushan, appointed by the HC.

But, with "the recent unfortunate developments" and demand from certain quarters and to clear the air, the government was seeking a CBI probe into it, it said.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who arrived in New Delhi on Wednesday, also said that the probe by the STF under the observation of the HC has been very good so far but with the recent demands by Opposition parties and a section of the people, the MP government has appealed for a CBI probe.

Chouhan also said that the state government will also appeal to the Supreme Court for a CBI probe. "Our government was responsible for the extensive probe so far. Even then, if there is still doubt, let the CBI probe bring truth out...We will also appeal to the Supreme Court to let the CBI probe the Vyapam scam," Chouhan told reporters.

Chouhan said they had full faith in the Supreme Court and High Court and in a democracy, the rulers should be servants of the public and be beyond doubt. "That is why yesterday I sent a request to the High Court for a thorough CBI probe into the Vyapam matter under the High Court-monitored STF," he said.

The Chief Minister said death of people related to the scam was unfortunate and he was confident that truth would come out in a CBI probe.

To a query on why the probe has not covered the state Governor, he said the High Court has held that he was a constitutional authority, implying he enjoyed immunity.

The Madhya Pradesh CM also lashed out at the Congress for attacking the BJP government over the Vyapam scam. "Congress is not concerned with the Vyapam deaths. They didn't do anything for Madhya Pradesh," he said. "The only purpose of Congress is to make baseless allegations against me. They can't stand the fact that BJP brought about development in Madhya Pradesh. They have been demanding my resignation from the beginning. They are bringing disrepute to Madhya Pradesh," he added.

"The high court itself had said that the probe into the Vyapam scam has been appropriate so far. Doesn't Congress trust the high court and other constitutional institutions?" Chouhan said.

Chouhan will be meeting party leaders during his stay in New Delhi and is expected to discuss various aspects of the controversy, sources told PTI. However, the official reason cited for Chouhan's visit is his meeting with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj regarding the preparations for the World Hindi Conference to be held in Bhopal later this year.

The Supreme Court had on Tuesday agreed to hear on Thursday the plea of Congress leader Digvijaya Singh and three whistleblowers -- Ashish Chaturvedi, Anand Rai and Prashant Pandey -- seeking a CBI probe into the scam.

The Chouhan government had on Tuesday requested the Madhya Pradesh High Court in Jabalpur for a CBI inquiry in the scandal which is said to have claimed over 40 lives.

At least five people associated with the Vyapam scam have died under mysterious circumstances over the past one week.

(With inputs from PTI)

Updated Date: Jul 08, 2015 18:22:11 IST