The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to give the CBI three weeks to take over all the cases related to the Vyapam scam and complete the appointment of public prosecutors to lead prosecution of its cases before the trial court.
The multi-crore rupee professional examination scam in Madhya Pradesh involves several high-profile professionals, politicians and bureaucrats as accused. The state governor too is facing allegations with a petition seeking investigation into his role pending before the SC.
A bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu gave the time after the investigative agency through Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar argued that of the 104 cases it has taken over, it has completed taking over all the documents in respect of 79, and needed another three weeks to acquire documents in the remaining 25 cases.
Accepting the request of the SG to grant the agency three weeks to appoint public prosecutors, the bench also said that all cases arising out of the probe into Madhya Pradesh’s Vyapam scam will be taken over by CBI and directed the agency to appoint public prosecutors within three weeks to conduct the trial.
All Vyapam cases, which have now risen from 185 to 212, will be looked after by the CBI, irrespective of the fact that in 78 of them the state’s SIT/STF have filed chargesheets.
The court also said that the CBI would also look into the cases “where judgment has been delivered. You will look into them and decide” on the future course of action and “where trial is going on, your prosecutors will take over”.
The CBI also informed the court that it simply doesn’t have enough officers to handle the Vyapam recruitment scam, which was handed over to the agency amid national attention on the unusually large number of deaths linked to the case.
Asked by the court to take over all cases linked to the Vyapam scam within three weeks, the CBI told the court that because of its staff crunch, it was finding it difficult to do so, and the number of cases was also rising.
“There are 748 vacancies and already there are 1,000 FIRs in the Saradha chit fund case,” the CBI said, urging the court to step in and help in filling up vacancies.
Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi said that training an inspector for the CBI takes two years and discussions were on with states for officers that could be deputed to the CBI.
The court said it would take up the case next on September 11. “If the Centre can’t fill up the vacancies in the CBI, the court will direct the states to depute officers,” the court said, adding “let the policemen sitting at police stations earning bribes come out and work.”
The apex court had on July 9 had handed over to the CBI the investigation into the criminal cases related to the Vyapam admission cum recruitment scam and over 40 deaths linked to the scam originating from MP.