CBI files charges against 490 in Vyapam scam

The CBI on Tuesday filed charges against 490 accused in the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) or MP Vyavsayik Pareeksha Mandal, also known as Vyapam scam, and claimed there was no truth in the allegations that data files seized by the state police from an accused were tampered to delete the word 'CM' from the files.

 
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan  

One of the most sinister scams in recent times, more than 45 people related to the Vyapam scam have died after it hit the national headlines in 2013.

In charges filed before a special CBI court, the CBI has claimed that a detailed forensic analysis of the hard disc of the computer showed that there was no file carrying "CM" ever stored on it.

The CBI list, filed by in connection with Pre Medical test for 2013, has 490 accused, including three Vyapam officials - Nitin Mohindra, Ajay Kumar Sen and C K Mishra.

The scam involves massive corruption and irregularities in the entrance examination.The CBI alleged that the racketeers arranged solvers for MBBS aspirants.

The Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) or MP Vyavsayik Pareeksha Mandal conducts almost every exam in the state for government job seekers and for admission to educational institutes in the state.

More than 45 people related to the Vyapam scam have died after it hit the national headlines in 2013. This includes witnesses, persons accused in the case and recently an AajTak journalist, Akshay Singh, who was investigating the case, who died under mysterious circumstances.

The opposition Congress has launched an all out attack on the Madhya Pradesh government and asked for the resignation of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for shielding the 'scamsters'.

Irregularities in the functioning of the Board was first brought to light in 2009. After a PIL was filed by Indore-based Anand Rai, Chouhan formed a committee to investigate the matter. The committee submitted its report in 2011, after which police arrested several people. A Special Task Force (STF) was established in 2012 and by 2013, investigators had traced links to major politicians, including Madhya Pradesh's former education minister, Laxmikant Sharma, MPPEB officials, middlemen and students.

Dr Anand Rai, the whistleblower, has alleged that undeserving candidates received help through illegal means in the entrance exams and that impersonators had taken tests on behalf of candidates. In some cases, copying was facilitated by placing a person between two candidates to let them copy from their answer sheet while in some cases, OMR sheets were randomly scored and later filled accordingly by the board officials.

The Vyapam scam has so far claimed more than 45 people and most of them have died under mysterious circumstances. According to the Special Investigation Team set up by the High Court, 32 of the scamsters have died in suspicious circumstances since 2012.