Despite Vyapam scam taint why does MP governor Ram Yadav enjoy Modi govt’s favour?
by Sandipan Sharma Jul 6, 2015 15:21 IST
The BJP has been loyal to at least one Ram—the Vyapam scam-tainted governor of Madhya Pradesh.
In the long list of aaya Ram and gaya Ram governors shifted, sacked and nudged out by the Narendra Modigovernment, Ram Naresh Yadav has mysteriously survived in MP.
He is perhaps the only one to have completed four years in Raj Bhawan; among the few allowed by the Modi government to continue while all others appointed by UPA-2 have been replaced.
The MP Governor was (technically he still is) one of the accused in the multi-level MP Professional Examination Board (PEB), popularly called Vyapam, scam. His son Shailesh, also an accused, is among those who died under mysterious circumstances.
Investigations have revealed that the Raj Bhawan staff was part of the gang that manipulated admissions and recruitment tests conducted by PEB. The governor’s former OSD Dhanraj Yadav is among those arrested by the Special Task Force (SIT) probing the Vyapam scam. The Vyapam scam has a clearly established trail to the Raj Bhawan.
In February 2015, the investigating agency filed an FIR against Yadav under various sections of the IPC. He was accused of conspiracy and forgery under the Information Technology Act and the Prevention of Corruption Act. The SIT report against Yadav said he had recommended five names for recruitment as forest guards.
Yadav, who was accused number 10 in the FIR, moved the high court citing constitutional immunity. His lawyer Ram Jethmalani argued that the agency can’t probe an incumbent governor and that the charges against him are based on hearsay.
In April, the high court asked the investigating agency to remove the governor’s name from the FIR. The court said Yadav enjoys constitutional immunity from any criminal proceedings while he is in office and investigations can be carried out only after he retires.
Though he may have bought some more time, Yadav still hasn’t got a clean chit. The head of the special investigation team (SIT) probing the scam says action will be taken against Yadav after he retires in September 2016.
So, effectively, Yadav has managed to evade the SIT by taking refuge in the Raj Bhawan.
Ideally, Yadav should have stepped down when his name appeared in the scam. Ethically, morally and politically—he is a Congress nominee surviving on Modi’s generosity—Yadav’s position is untenable. But then it is perhaps too much to expect politicians to uphold morality, probity and propriety in public life.
But, what is stopping Modi from replacing the MP Governor to facilitate an independent probe? Going by the noise he made during the campaign against tainted-Congress leaders, his promise of swift action against corruption, and the NDA machinations that led to the resignation of other UPA-appointed Governors like Sheila Dikshit, BL Joshi, Shekhar Dutt, Shivraj Patil and MK Narayanan, Yadav should have been first on the PM’s list.
Even the Congress has demanded action against Yadav. In 2014, when Yadav’s name first appeared in connection with the scam, the MP unit of the Congress had asked him to step down. Again, in February 2015 when he was booked by the SIT, sought his resignation during a debate in the state Assembly.
Yet, Ram’s rajya in MP continues.
What is so compelling about Yadav? Why is Modi not acting against him? Why has he been spared in spite of accusations, allegations and an FIR when several other Governors have been replaced just because they were appointed by the Congress? Why is the BJP keen on letting Yadav continue when the Congress wants him replaced?The Vyapam scam is much bigger in scale and magnitude than we know. The investigations so far by the SIT have exposed just the surface and a few key players. Several BJP workers, members and office-bearers of the RSS and its affiliates are among the beneficiaries of the PEB scam that went on for at least five years under Chouhan’s watch. Many more can be nailed if the probe is extended to the Raj Bhawan and people close to the chief minister.
As the Governor of MP, Yadav must have been privy to a lot of information; he may have had access to important files, documents, deliberation and decisions. Perhaps Yadav knows too much and letting the SIT grill him could lead to new revelations and insights into the scam.
Will Modi act and let this Ram undergo agni pariksha?
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Vyapam scam was a massive admission and recruitment scam involving politicians, senior officials and businessmen in the state of Madhya Pradesh in India. Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB), popularly known by its Hindi acronym “Vyapam”, is a government body responsible for conducting several entrance tests in the state. These entrance tests are used for recruitment to government jobs and for admissions to educational institutes in the state. The scam involved a collusion of undeserving candidates, who bribed politicians and MPPEB officials through middlemen, to get high ranks in these entrance tests.
Cases of irregularities in these entrance tests had been reported since 2004. When major complaints surfaced in the pre-medical test (PMT) in 2009, the state government established a committee to investigate the matter. The commitee released its report in 2011, and over a hundred people were arrested by the police. A Special Task Force (STF) was established in 2012. The sheer scale of the scam came to light in 2013, when it was revealed that several officials and politicians were involved in it. By June 2015, more than 2000 people had been arrested in connection with the scam. These included the state’s ex-education minister Laxmikant Sharma, over a hundred politicians, several MPPEB officials, bureaucrats middlemen, students and their parents.
- 1 The scam
- 2 Unearthing of the scam
- 3 Response to scam
- 4 Allegations of threats to whistleblowers and activists
- 5 Allegations against the Chief Minister
- 6 Deaths
- 7 References
Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB), also known by its Hindi name Madhya Pradesh Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal (Vyapam) is a self-financed and an autonomous body incorporated by the State government. It is entrusted with the responsibility to conduct large-scale competitive tests for admission to various professional courses and for recruitment to government jobs.
The scam involved a collusion among exam candidates, government officials and middlemen: undeserving candidates were offered high marks in the exams, in exchange for kickbacks. The following tricks were used by those involved in the scam:
- Impersonation – The admit card of the candidate was used to execute the trick. All the information of the candidate remained intact except the photograph. Candidate’s photograph was replaced by that of the impersonator and after the exam, it was changed back to the original. All this was done in collusion with the corrupt Board officials. The impersonator was always some brilliant student and used to get hefty amount to secure the seat.
- Engine and Bogie System – A person was strategically seated between two other candidates by the Board officials. The person let them copy from his sheet and the examiners were bribed to fix it.
- OMR Sheets – The select candidates were asked to leave their answer sheets blank. They were randomly given high percentages after the exam. Concerned authorities of the Board then filed an RTI demanding to view those answer sheets. They then filled in the answers in the OMR booklet according to the marks they have already been given. This was done so that if someone were to ever check those answer sheets, there would not be any loop holes that could give them away.
Vyapam admitted in the High Court that 1020 forms were missing and 346 imposters had appeared in the exam. Vyapam officials admitted in the court that 1120 candidates appeared in the exam but their forms were missing because Vyapam official and accused Nitin Mahendra had tampered with the Computers in which the record was stored. The STF has presented charge-sheet against 28 accused, including Jagdish Sagar, in Indore Court. The fact that the charge-sheet includes details of 3292 different offences and more than 92,176 documents is indicative of the enormity of the scam.
Unearthing of the scam
In 2009, complaints of irregularities in the pre-medical test (PMT) surfaced. Indore-based activist Anand Rai filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) requesting investigation into the scam. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan set up a committee to look into these irregularities in 2009; the committee submitted its report in 2011.
In July 2011, MPPEB monitored 145 suspects during the Pre-Medical Test (PMT). Most of the suspects did not turn up, but 8 were caught for impersonating others. This included Kanpur-based Satyendra Varma, who had accepted ₹ 4 lakh to appear in place of Ashish Yadav, in Indore. 15 exam toppers from the previous year appeared for the exam. Suspecting that these people were called in to impersonate others, MPPEB asked them to explain their reasons for re-taking the exams. Later, MPPEB also started using biometric technology: thumb impressions and photographs of all the persons appearing for the exam were taken to be matched during the post-results counselling.
In November 2011, a government probe committee headed by the State Joint Director of Medical Education submitted a report stating that 100+ students had passed PMT using impersonation. In December 2011, the MP Government announced that all the students who had gained admissions by fraudulent means would be asked to quit their courses. This included those who had spent some years taking the course.
2013 MP-PMT exam
In 2013, Dr. Anand Rai, an Indore based ophthalmologist and civil rights activist alleged a massive Pre-Medical Test (PMT) scam. He claimed that thousands of candidates secured admission to medical colleges in the state through unfair means like impersonation and bribery. According to Dr. Rai, this scam dated back to 2004 and the first case was reported in Khandwa, a city near Indore. On the basis of Rai’s report, the state government started investigating the scam, and transferred the case to a Special Task Force (STF).
On July 6 and 7, Indore crime branch arrested 20 candidates from various city hotels of whom 17 belonged to Uttar Pradesh while three were from Madhya Pradesh. The candidates had come to impersonate MPPMT candidates. A list containing names of 317 students was confiscated from Dr. Jagdish Sagar after his arrest from a hotel in Mumbai by Indore crime branch on July 12, nine days ahead of PMT counselling. MPPEB’s exam controller Pankaj Trivedi, whose involvement was not known until then, shot a letter to Indore IG Vipin Maheshwari seeking information about on-going investigations and list of students recovered from Dr. Sagar. IG forwarded this letter to Indore SP (west) Anil Singh Kushwaha for necessary action. Kushwaha in reply wrote a letter to Trivedi on July 19 stating a case under sections 419, 420, 467, 468 had been registered at Rajendra Nagar police station in connection with PMT 2013 exam and it was difficult to clear the suspects without investigation. Trivedi’s office received the letter, next day on July 20. Investigators failed to find out how and why Trivedi’s letter was entertained by the Indore crime branch. Police also supplied the list of 317 suspect candidates to Trivedi, though it was not required.
On the same day, July 20, Trivedi sent a letter to Principal Secretary (PS), Medical education department, Government of MP and deans of all medical colleges about 317 ‘suspicious’ students making it to pre-medical test merit list and stating that during counselling scheduled for July 21 they could be admitted after seeking an undertaking in an affidavit from them that their admissions would be considered ‘cancelled’ if they are found guilty of using unfair means in the police investigations. “Trivedi’s letter to the PS, Directorate of Medical education and state government for allowing these students, and its compliance shows that more authorities were hand in glove with him in perpetuating the scam,” said Abhay Chopra, another petitioner, who demanded a CBI inquiry in the case. Trivedi made several other communications about exams before being arrested by STF on September 28 – for his alleged role in the pre-medical test (PMT) scam on the basis of Dr Jagdish Sagar’s interrogation.
At a high level meeting held in Bhopal in July 2013, senior bureaucrats raised serious questions on the police investigation in Vyapam scam and expressed surprise over the fact that Dr. Sagar could operate so smoothly. Moreover, they were shocked to know that no tab was kept on him as he was arrested in 2003 in similar case. In the same meeting, government admitted major lapses in its working that helped the pre-medical test scam thrive.
In December 2013, Special Task Force investigating the PMT scam produced a supplementary chargesheet against 34 accused, running into 23,000 pages in the Indore district court. Out of these 34 accused chargesheeted, 30 were students and their guardians. Four others included Pankaj Trivedi, Dr. Sanjeev Shilpkar and Dr. Jagdish Sagar’s accomplice Gangaram Pipliya Earlier, STF had chargesheeted 28 people, including Sagar, in the case on October 5.
On April 29, 2014, 27 students of Mahatma Gandhi Memorial (MGM) medical college were expelled, on the directives of the Medical Education Department, for having allegedly used fraudulent means to clear PMT-2012. These 27 students were part of 286 candidates who cleared PMT-2012 through fraudulent means and were identified by STF.
On June 19, 2014, Special Task Force of Madhya Pradesh police issued a statement that it has arrested over 100 medical students for their involvement in the PMT scam and this number could go up as arrests are being everyday. All these students allegedly cleared the medical entrance test by fraudulent means.  The arrests were carried out after Madhya Pradesh High Court directed the STF to submit a status report in the matter on June 30. During a previous hearing, the High Court had taken a strong view and asked police why high and mighty and absconding accused persons in connection with the scam were not yet arrested by the STF. Following this, STF had also arrested former state technical education minister and BJP leader Laxmikant Sharma on June 15 for his alleged involvement in the contractual teachers recruitment scam. The contractual teachers examination too was conducted by the MPPEB (Vyapam).
Other recruitments rigged
In November 2013, the Special Task Force (STF) of Madhya Pradesh police made a shocking revelation that Vyapam officials rigged five more recruitment tests – Pre-PG, Food Inspector Selection Test, Milk Federation test, Subedar-Sub Inspector and Platoon Commander Selection Test and Police Constable Recruitment Test – all held during 2012 for government jobs in the state. Different FIRs against 153 people including mining baron Sudhir Sharma were filed. Sharma, a close confidante of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, was earlier interrogated by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with mining scam.
In September 2014, disclosure of rigging bank exams was made by Special Task Force on the basis of interrogation of Dr. Jagdish Sagar and Mohit Chaudhary. The accused in collusion with a Bihar module, arranged proxy candidates for candidates from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, who appeared for SBI Probationary Officer’s examination from Madhya Pradesh. Numerous candidates who fraudulently cleared the written examination of bank recruitment, ultimately failed to clear the interview.
Response to scam
The Madhya Pradesh Government formed a Special Task Force (STF) to investigate the scam in 2012. The Congress-led opposition had demanded a CBI probe into the scam and expressed concern over impartiality of the STF, but the government declined to comply with this demand. The opposition also pressed for resignation of the Chief Minister on moral grounds in view of alleged involvement of his ministers and relatives. On the other hand, the Chief Minister had termed it as “mudslinging” by the opposition due to the defeat in Lok Sabha election 2014.
On November 5, 2014, Madhya Pradesh High Court rejected the Congress leader Digvijay Singh‘s petition for CBI probe and instead ordered setting up of a special investigation team (SIT) to act as a watchdog for the court. The SIT is a 3-member team chaired by Justice Chandresh Bhushan, a retired Judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.
By June 2015, more than 2000 people had been arrested in connection with the scam.
- Laxmikant Sharma, ex-Education Minister (M.P)
- After being quizzed twice, the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) leader was arrested after his alleged involvement in contractual teachers recruitment scam. The exam was conducted by MPPEB and Sharma was its Minister in-charge in his capacity as the then Technical Education Minister in the last BJP government in the state. He later resigned from BJP after he was sent to four days police remand. Later, three FIRs were filed against him in separate cases.
- Dr. Vinod Bhandari
- He is the main accused and was arrested on the charges of illegally helping students to get admission through Vyapam officers. He fled to Mauritius when he was named in the scam and returned only after an anticipatory bail was granted by the Madhya Pradesh High Court.
- O. P. Shukla
- He was posted as Officer on Special Duty (OSD) with then Technical Education Minister Laxmikant Sharma. Soon after the investigations gained momentum, he went underground and surrendered two months after the investigation team released a lookout notice for him. He allegedly took 8.5 million (85 lakhs) Rupees from the candidates for clearing the medical entrance test.
- Pankaj Trivedi, Examination Controller Vyapam
- He was arrested in September 2013 and is currently in a judicial custody. The state anti-corruption police has recovered around 25 million rupees and numerous properties from his possession that are unknown to his sources of income. Evidence of his partnership in Indore based medical college was also found.
- Sudhir Sharma
- He is the mining baron of Madhya Pradesh and an accused in the sub-inspector and constable recruitment scam. His rise from the a primary school teacher to a billionaire is surrounded by mysteries. The investigative team declared him as an absconder and declared a reward of Rs. 5000 for information about his whereabouts. After a long hide and seek, he finally surrendered on July 25, 2014.
- CK Mishra, Officer, Vyapam
- CK Mishra has admitted that he was working for Dr. Sagar, Santosh Gupta and Sanjiv Shilpkar since 2009. In 2009, Dr. Sagar had given him application forms of 20 candidates, who were to be allotted roll numbers in such a way that in the exam, their seats were one behind the other. Rs 50,000 per roll number was paid to him. Thus, he received Rs 1 million. In 2010, Dr. Sagar gave forms of 40 students. This time Rs 2 million was paid. In 2012, Dr. Sagar took contract of 60 students, Shilpkar gave roll numbers of 20 boys. They paid Rs 3 million and Rs 1 million respectively.
- Nitin Mahendra (Principal System Analyst) and Ajay Sen (Senior System Analyst)
- Vyapam programmer Yashwant Parnekar and clerk Yuvraj Hingve said in their statements that the computers of Mahindra and Sen were not linked with the main server of Vyapam. These two officers could access the data stored in 25 other computers at Vyapam but the data in their computers could not be accessed by anyone. Taking advantage of this, they allotted roll numbers and examination centers as per their wish.
- Dr. Jagdish Sagar (Middleman)
- Dr. Sagar used to handover handwritten notes to Vyapam officials, telling them which roll number to allot to which student. For 2013, Dr. Sagar had given 317, Shilpakar 92 and Sanjay Gupta 48 names. Mahendra had recorded the details of these candidates in his computer and destroyed the list. While allotting roll numbers to these candidates, the slots immediately before or after them were left blank. These roll numbers were then allotted to fake candidate. The roll numbers were set at their homes and brought to office in Pen drive. After reaching the office, they uploaded the roll numbers to the computers. After that Mahendra, used to telephone Dr. Sagar and tell him, “The work has been done. You can check on the website”.
- Animesh Akash Singh
- He worked as a broker and got admitted four candidates in PMT.
- Jitendra Malviya
- A third year student of MBBS at MGM College of Indore who had got admitted one candidate in PMT 2013 through Dr. Sanjeev Shilpakar.
- R. K. Shivhare, Suspended IPS Officer
- He is an accused for his alleged involvement in the recruitment of sub-inspector and platoon commander examination of 2012 conducted by Vyapam. He is also an accused in getting his daughter and son-in-law admitted in the medical college by fraudulent means. When the probe agency registered a case against him, he was suspended but evaded arrest. He was declared absconder and a reward or Rs. 3000 was put against him. He later surrendered on April 21, 2014.
- Ravikant Dwivedi, Suspended Joint Commissioner (Revenue)
- He was arrested for getting his son admitted into one of the premiere medical colleges through unfair means. Later, the state anti-corruption wing raided his house and were in a shock to found cash, jewellery, property worth Rs. 600-700 million.
- Vandana Dwivedi
- On September 11, 2014, Special Task Force (STF) arrested the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) leader for her role in the scam. She had given C. K. Mishra a list of five candidates for recruitment in contractual teachers (grade II) appointment out of which two were selected.
- Dr. G S Khanuja
- On September 13, 2014, Special Task Force (STF) arrested the COO of Aurbindo hospital located in Indore. His son secured 12th rank in the medical examination of 2012 through unfair means.
- Mohit Chaudhary
- He was arrested along with his gang for helping the students appearing in pre-medical test cheat with the help of bluetooth. He was earlier arrested in 2012 for rigging other competitive exams but was released on bail. He himself fraudulently cracked the post-graduate medical entrance examination conducted by the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
- Narendra Dev Azad (Jatav)
- On February 19, 2015, the special investigation team (SIT) arrested him on the charges of acting as a middleman in the admission of Amar Singh Medha in 2009 in MGM College, Indore.
The STF also found evidence against the state Governor Ram Naresh Yadav. Congress leader Digvijay Singh alleged that the BJP government had falsely implicated Yadav (a Congress leader) to save the Chief Minister. However, several other Congress leaders demanded his resignation. The Governor refused to resign, and petitioned the High Court arguing that no criminal proceedings could be initiated against him, as the Constitution of India grants him immunity while he is in office. The High Court agreed and stayed his arrest, but ordered the inivestigations against him to proceed. The SIT chief declared that the investigators will act against Yadav after his retirement in June 2016. Three advocates petitioned the Supreme Court to order removal of Yadav as Governor.
Allegations of threats to whistleblowers and activists
- Anand Rai
- Indore-based Dr. Anand Rai filed a PIL which led to investigation in the scam. He has reported receiving regular threat calls, and has also alleged that contract killers were hired to kill him. In 2013, he approached the court requesting security cover. He was told to pay ₹ 50,000 per month for police protection, although his monthly salary was only ₹ 38,000. In 2015, he was provided with a security guard.
- Ashish Chaturvedi
- Gwalior-based social activist Ashish Chaturvedi lodged a complaint against 8 people, one of whom was Gulab Singh Kirar’s son Shakti Singh; Kirar is a relative of the Chief Minister. Chaturvedi had also petitioned CBI to probe admissions of 5,000 doctors in MBBS and PG courses of 2003-2013 in all state colleges. He suffered three attacks on his life, including an abduction bid. He has alleged that the police refused to provide him adequate protection after he complained of threats to his life. The police reportedly asked him to ₹ 50,000 for protection or remain confined in his home.
- Prashant Pandey
- A former IT consultant hired with the Special Task Force (STF), Prashant Pandey also claims to be a whistleblower. He was arrested in 2014 for trying to use the team’s information to blackmail the Vyapam accused. He later claimed that the investigators were trying to shield the Chief Minister by tampering evidence, and were harassing him for exposing the alleged tampering. An Excel sheet allegedly implicating the Chief Minister, and claimed by Pandey to be an original tamper-free version, was declared as a forgery by the High Court. The Madhya Pradesh police registered an FIR against him for leaking information as part of this Excel sheet. Pandey petitioned to the Delhi High Court, which stayed his arrest. Pandey has claimed that only five percent of the scam had been probed.
Allegations against the Chief Minister
In 2014, Prashant Pandey (aka “Mr. X”), an IT consultant hired by the STF, was arrested for trying to use the team’s information to blackmail the Vyapam accused. Pandey then approached the Indian National Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, and claimed that he was a whistleblower who was being harassed for exposing the role of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in the scam. He alleged that the investigating agencies had tampered with the contents of the Excel sheet recovered from hard disk of the scam accused Nitin Mohindra’s computer. Mohindra maintained a record of the candidates’ names, their roll numbers and the names of those who had recommended them. Hundreds of people were arrested based on the information in this sheet. Pandey claimed that the investigators had modified the original version of the sheet by removing the names of senior BJP leaders, including Chouhan, from the sheet.
Digvijaya Singh then submitted a 15-page affidavit before the SIT, alleging that the investigators were shielding the Chief Minister. SIT took cognisance of Singh’s complaint, and sent both versions of the Excel sheet for forensic analysis. The forensic laborary reported that the Excel sheet available with STF was genuine, while Pandey’s version was forged. Accordingly, Singh’s submission was rejected as a forgery by Justice Khanwilkar in the MP High Court.
Pandey stood by his version, and stated that it had been authenticated by Truth Labs, a private forensic lab. He approached the Delhi High Court for protection as a whistleblower, claiming persecution by the MP Police. He claimed that he first sent the documents to the BJP minister Kailash Vijayvargiya and the Prime Minister’s Office; he approached Congress leaders only when he did not receive any response.
Chouhan hit back at his critics, saying that his government should be credited for the exposing the scam. He stated that only 228 out of 350,000 appointments made during his tenure had been affected by the recruitment scam, and unlike previous governments, he had conducted a thorough probe. Replying to Congress’ allegations that his wife had got jobs for 17 of her relatives from Gondia, he pointed out that not a single candidate from Gondia had got the job in the question.
A number of people connected to the scam and its investigation, died during the course of investigation. The opposition parties and activists alleged that several of these deaths happened under suspicious circumstances. In 2015, the Special Task Force (STF) submitted a list to High Court, naming 23 people who are believed to have died “unnatural deaths”. According to the STF, most of these deaths took place before it took over the investigation in July 2013. Some media reports claimed that 40+ people associated with the scam had died under mysterious cirumstances. The state’s Home Minister Babulal Gaur dismissed the allegations, and claimed that the deaths were natural.
According to the High-Court Special Investigation Team (SIT), 32 of the ‘racketeers’ in 25-30 age-group, died in suspicious circumstances since the investigation started in 2012. The SIT officials raised concerns that the arrested people were naming those who were already dead, in order to mislead the probe.
|Date of death||Name||Role||Circumstances of death||Source|
|21 November 2009||Vikas Singh Thakur||Middleman in PMT scam||Died in Barwani due to illness and adverse drug reaction|||
|12 June 2010||Shyamvir Yadav||Middleman in PMT scam from Gwalior||Died in Raisen in a road mishap|||
|14 June 2010||Anshul Sachan||Middleman in PMT scam from Hoshangabad||Died in Raisen in a road mishap|||
|14 June 2010||Anuj Uikey||Middleman in PMT scam from Mandla||Died in Raisen in a road mishap|||
|2010||Gyan Singh||Middleman in PMT scam from Bhind||Died in Gwalior; Alcohol-related illness|||
|2010||Deepak Verma||Middleman in PMT scam||Died in Indore in a road mishap|||
|January 2012||Namrata Damor||A native of Meghnaghar in Jhabua, 25-year old Namrata was a first year student of MGM Medical College, Indore.Her death was initially ruled as a suicide in 2012. However, in 2014, her name appeared in the list of students who had cleared PMT-2010 using unfair means. Her friend Vishal Verma’s name also appeared in the list of candidates who had been impersonated by other students in PMT-2009. Both the students had successfully applied for a transfer from G R Medical College in Gwalior to MGM Medical College in Indore. According to her father Mehtab Singh Damor, Vishal had helped her get this transfer. According to Dr Anand Rai, a whistleblower who exposed the PMT irregularties, she could have been sexually exploited by the masterminds of the scam. Namrata’s family claimed that they had an argument with the scam’s kingpin Jagdish Sagar and his gang a few days before her disappearance. They had met Jagdish Sagar through Gangaram Pipliya, who was also chargesheeted in the scam. According to them, Vishal was a conduit of Jagdish Sagar.||Namrata went missing on 7 January, soon after her results were declared. Unable to reach her on mobile phone, her brother Omprakash arrived in Indore to inquire her. He lodged a missing person complaint on 12 January. On the same day Namrata went missing, the police had found a mutilated dead body close to the railway tracks near Maksi in Ujjain district. A ticket reserved for 7 January in Indore-Bilaspur Express was also found with the body, but there was no other identification. The police had buried the body after performing an autopsy, and put up its photograph at Ujjain railway station. On 29 January, Omprakash identified the body as that of her sister based on the photograph. In autopsy, semen was found on her body. Four men were subjected to DNA test to match semen samples collected from her clothes. One of these was Vishal Verma, who had called her several times on her mobile minutes before she died. Vishal’s sample allegedly matched with the sample collected from Namrata’s clothes, but he was let off after an investigation. The police suspected that she had committed suicide by jumping off the train, because her father had scolded her over her friendship with a boy he disapproved of. This was in January 2012, when the MPPEB scam had not been exposed fully. However, in 2014, both Namrata and Vishal’s names appeared in the list of student suspects in the scam, leading to suspicions of foul play. Namrata’s family claimed that she had been murdered and her dead body was dumped on the railway tracks.|||
|25 October 2012||Aditya Chaudhary (alias Ravi Pippal)||Middleman in PMT scam||Died in Sagar; Suicide|||
|7 November 2012||Anant Ram Tagore||Got son admitted through PMT scam||Died in Morena; Cancer|||
|28 November 2012||Arvind Shakya||Middleman in PMT scam||Died in Gwalior in a road mishap|||
|21 April 2013||Rinku alias Pramod Sharma||Middleman in Police Constable Scam||Died in Jhansi; Suicide by hanging|||
|12 May 2013||Kuldeep Marawi||Middleman in PMT scam||Died in Mandla in a road mishap|||
|17 May 2013||Premlata Pandey||Accused in Contract Teachers’ scam; a student and a resident of Nehrunagar, Bhopal||Died in Rewa; Liver Cancer|||
|10 August 2013||Ashutosh Tiwari||Middleman in PMT scam||Died in Tikamgarh; Alcohol-related Illness|||
|15 September 2013||Tarun Machhar||Student Accused in PMT scam||Died in Ratlam in a road mishap|||
|9 October 2013||Anand Singh Yadav||Middleman in PMT scam, from Fatehpur||Died in Raisen in a road mishap|||
|26 December 2013||Devendra Nagar||Middleman in Police Constable Recruitment scam||Died in Bhind in a road mishap|||
|21 January 2014||Bunty Sikarwar||Middleman in PMT scam||Died in Gwalior; Suicide|||
|January 2015||Lalit Golaria||Student accused in PMT fraud||Body found under a bridge in Morena|||
|15 January 2015||Ramendra Singh Bhadoria||A 30-year old medical student of the Gajra Raja Medical College, Bhadoria was booked in the scam in January 2015. He was accused of using unfair means to clear PMT 2009, using an unknown impersonator. A college committee had recommended his termination.||He found hanging at his home in Gwalior a few days after an FIR was registered against him. The Gwalior police claimed that he committed suicide due to a failed love affair. However, his family members stated that he was being “mentally tortured” by scamsters to keep quiet. His mother also committed suicide by consuming acid a week later.|||
|1 February 2014||Deepak Jain||Middleman in PMT scam||Died in Gwalior in a road mishap|||
|14 February 2014||Dinesh Jatav||Middleman in PMT scam||Died in Morena in a road mishap|||
|20 April 2014||Vikas Pandey||Middleman in PMT scam||Died in Allahabad; Brain haemorrhage|||
|15 June 2014||Ravindra Pratap Singh||Student accused in PMT scam||Died in Singrauli; Suspected suicide by poisoning|||
|4 July 2014||Dr. D.K. Sakalley||He was the dean of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Medical College, Jabalpur. Before his death, he had gone on a 30-day medical leave, to avoid pressure from students who had been sacked in connection with the scam.||He is believed to have immolated himself in a garden behind his house. He had been suffering from depression. A suicide note was reported to have been recovered, but the police didn’t confirm it to be a case of suicide on the basis that the dean had died under suspicious conditions.|||
|13 July 2014||Narendra Rajput||Middleman in PMT scam from Mahoba||Died in Jhansi; Illness|||
|February 2015||Amit Sagar||A veterinary student in Mhow, Amit Sagar was named by the prime accused Indrajeet Bhushan in the case.||After Bhushan implicated Sagar in the scam, the police tried to contact him. However, they found that he was already dead: his body was found in a pond in Sheopur district.|||
|25 March 2015||Shailesh Yadav||50-year old Shailesh was the son of MP’s Governor and Congress leader Ram Naresh Yadav. According to one Veerpal Yadav, he allegedly fixed the recruitment of 10 candidates as Grade III teachers. Veerpal told the STF that he handed over a list of 10 candidates and Rs 3 lakh to his friend Vijay Pal, who forwarded them to Shailesh Yadav at Raj Bhavan.||50-year old Yadav was found dead at Governor’s official residence in Lucknow. According to his family, he was a diabetes patient and was under stress after being named in the scam; the cause of his death appeared to be brain haemorrhage. The family didn’t suspect any foul play in the death, and called it a natural death. The autopsy was inconclusive and could not ascertain the cause of his death.|||
|28 April 2015||Vijay Singh Patel||A pharmacist posted at Shajapur District Jail, Vijay Singh was arrested for his alleged role in three cases related to the scam. He was cleared in one of these cases, and released on bail in February 2015. Subsequently, he was summouned by STF in a fourth case related to police constable recruitment examination. Based on Vijay Singh’s statement, STF had arrested the brother-in-law of minister Laxmikant Sharma’s OSD O P Shukla||Around mid-April, Vijay Singh visited Kanker to meet his wife Reena, who worked in the school education department. According to his brother Abhay, he had taken a train from Raipur (nearest railway station) to Bhopal on 16 April. He had called his laywer at Raipur station on that day. He again called the lawyer on 17 April, informing that he would meet him in two hours. According to Abhay, this indicates that Vijay was already in Bhopal on 17 April. He went missing a few hours before he was scheduled to appear before the STF at the Bhopal special court. His mobile phone was switched off, and his family members had intimated his disappearance to STF. His body was found on 28 April in Kanker, in a lodge run by a BJP MLA. The lodge employees told the police that Singh had checked in on April 24, and then again on April 27. He had asked them to wake him up on the morning of April 28, so that he could catch a train to Bhopal. When he did not open his door, the lodge staff informed the police. The police found his dead body, and suspected suicide as the door was bolted from inside and the post mortem report mentioned that poison was found in his body. However, Singh’s family members suspected that he had been killed as part of a larger conspiracy. They pointed out that no suicide note or poison were found in the room, and claimed that the lodge had an open window from which a killer could have escaped.|||
|28 June 2015||Narendra Singh Tomar||29-year-old Tomar was posted as an Assistant Veterinary Officer at Raisen before being arrested. He was accused of arranging imposters to replace the genuine candidates.||In Indore jail, he complained of chest pain around 11:15 pm. He was taken to Maharaja Yashwant Rao Hospital, where he was declared brought dead. He is said to have died of a heart attack, but his family members alleged foul play. According to his younger brother, he spoke to his sister around 4 pm and did not complain of any discomfort.|||
|28 June 2015||Rajendra Arya||40-year old Arya was out on bail in the case||Died at a hospital in Gwalior due to liver infection.|||
|4 July 2015||Akshay Singh||A journalist with Aaj Tak, 38-year old Akshay Singh was covering the Vyapam scam.||Akshay Singh suffered a heart attack while interviewing Mehtab Singh, father of Namrata Damor, in her native village near Meghnagar. According to Mehtab, Singh came to his house at 1 pm, and had a glass of water and a cup of tea. After half an hour, he began coughing and foaming in the mouth. He was first taken to the Meghnagar community health centre, and then to a private hospital, where he died. The autopsy suggested that it was a natural death, but the Congress party suspected foul play in his death and demanded an investigation.|||
|5 July 2015||Arun Kumar||Arun Kumar had replaced Dr. D.K. Sakalley as the dean of the NS Medical College (Jabalpur), after the latter’s death. He was assisting the STF by providing documents on fake medical entrance examinees.||Two months after taking over as the dean, he was found dead at a Delhi hotel the next morning. He was supposed to go to Agartala, as part of an inspection team of Delhi-based Medical Council of India.|||
|6 July 2015||Anamika Kushwaha||Trainee Sub Inspector who was recruited through Vyapam Scam in 2014 Batch.||Found dead under mysterious circumstances on a lake in Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh.|||
- Anand Singh (Barwani)
- Anuj Pandey
- Brijesh Rajput (Barwani)
- Gyan Singh (Sagar)
- Manish Kumar Samadhia (Jhansi)
- Pashupati Nath / Lalit Kumar Pashupatinath Jaiswal
- Vikram Singh
Vyapam Scam: Should Madhya Pradesh Governor be Removed? Supreme Court to Consider
Mr Yadav, who was named Governor in 2011, was named as an accused in the scam last year, but was then removed from the case because his office entitles him to immunity from investigation.
Mr Yadav’s son, Shailesh, is among the 35 people linked to the scam who have died over the last three years, triggering allegations of a murky inquiry by the opposition.
The Vyapam scam refers to the collusion in recent years by top politicians, bureaucrats and others that saw vast amounts of money being paid to allow imposters to take the qualifying exam for government jobs. The recruitment swindle is being investigated by a special team of the Madhya Pradesh police, and is being monitored by the Jabalpur High Court. Over the weekend, as a journalist reporting on the scam and the dean of a medical college linked to the scandal were found dead, Chief Minister Chouhan of the BJP once again refuted calls for the investigation to be transferred to the CBI – he said that decision must be taken by the High Court, and not him.
Mr Yadav took office as the Governor of Madhya Pradesh four years ago. The police filed an FIR against him last year alleging that he had tried to ensure candidates of his choice were selected as Forest Guards. However, the High Court said the Governor is constitutionally entitled to immunity while in office and cannot be investigated for criminal wrong-doing.
Mr Yadav’s son was found dead in Lucknow in March. One of over 1900 people arrested, Shailesh Yadav had allegedly accepted kickbacks in exchange for ensuring government jobs for teachers, but did not manage to deliver.