CBI proposes setting up ‘special Vyapam scam zone’ in Madhya Pradesh

BHOPAL: Investigations into Vyapam scam has turned out to be a herculean task for the CBI, which has proposed setting up a “Special Vyapam scam zone” and manpower of 500 people’ for investigations and trial of the mammoth scam.

This is presumed to be the first such scam, in which agency has mooted proposal for setting up of special zone.

“The colossal task of investigating 107 cases pertaining to alleged corruption and nearly 50 cases pertaining to the suspected deaths related to Vyapam scam having more than 2,000 accused cannot be met with the existing man power and infrastructure of CBI,” said the agency, in its status report, submitted before the Supreme Court on Thursday evening.

It further said, “As prescribed by the report of the staff inspection unit on norms-cum-staffing study of CBI dated October 12, 1998 of the department of expenditure, ministry of finance, GoI, it is proposed to set up a separate zone headed by joint director with manpower of 496 people.”

The agency said the proposed zone may be named as “AC HQ-II Zone” of CBI and be provided with supporting infrastructure such as buildings, furniture, vehicles, and computers with necessary accessories and stationery as per norms. The new zone, agency said, will not only cater to corruption cases, but cases pertaining to deaths in connection with Vyapam scam.

CBI has sought sanction of 496 posts, including 108 constables, 36 head constables, 18 assistant sub-inspectors, 36 inspectors, 63 inspectors, 18 DSPs, 9 ASPs, 9 SPs and three DIGs. This would entail recurring expenditure of Rs 24, 07, 11,156 (around Rs 24.07 crores) and non-recurring Rs 5, 05, 73,000 (around Rs 55 crore).

As on date, CBI has taken over 106 FIRs, out of 107 Vyapam scam cases being investigated by the special task force (STF) of Madhya Pradesh and have collected documents in 105 case.

In one case, which is yet to be taken over, the matter is under scrutiny as trial of some of the accused person has ended in acquittal and the state of Madhya Pradesh has gone in appeal against the acquittals before the Gwalior bench of high court of Madhya Pradesh.

Meanwhile Madhya Pradesh government has failed to submit its counter to an affidavit filed by Vyapam scam whistle-blower Dr Anand Rai on September 2 before Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh high court, which is hearing his plea challenging his transfer from Indore to Dhar, stating that Chouhan summoned him to his official residence in Bhopal on August 11 through a common friend and offered to cancel his and his wife Gauri’s transfer to Ujjain.

Indore-based Rai had accused Chouhan of offering him a deal to cancel his transfer if he stopped the campaign over Vyapam and DMAT scams against

A division bench had asked state government to file its counter to the affidavit within a week. “State government has failed to comply with the court’s order and this amounts to contempt,” Dr Rai said.