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SC says, Vyapam scam is shocking, people dying everyday

New Delhi: Two days before it takes up a bundle of petitions seeking its intervention in monitoring the probe into the Madhya Pradesh admission tests scandal, the Supreme Court observed on Tuesday that the “Vyapam scam is indeed shocking… people are dying every day”.

The bench of Justices AK Sikri and Rohinton F Nariman made this observation as it heard an appeal by some candidates who had sought re-conduct of the 2015 Uttar Pradesh Provincial Civil Services (UPPCS) examination in view of alleged irregularities.

Appearing for the UP candidates, advocate Prashant Bhushan said two test papers for the preliminary examination conducted on March 29 were leaked but the authorities cancelled only one paper. He claimed that the question papers were leaked by the supervisor of an examination centre. “These processional exams are becoming a fertile ground for corruption. This court may look at the turn of events in the Vyapam scam. All sorts of people are now involved in such professional exams,” Bhushan said. To this, the bench said that the Vyapam scam is “indeed shocking… people are dying every day in it.”

The court, however, said that the facts in this case were different from Vyapam. It also took note of a submission by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi that the mains exam was being conducted for the UPPCS now and it was too late in the day to cancel it. The bench then dismissed Bhushan’s plea. Earlier in the day, senior advocate Vivek Tankha mentioned a petition on Vyapam scam for urgent hearing. Representing three whistleblowers in the case, Tankha said his petition ought to be heard urgently in the wake of the spate of deaths of scam witnesses and accused. His petition demanded a SC-monitored CBI probe.

A bench led by Chief Justice HL Dattu told Tankha that the court had decided to hear all petitions, which were ready to be taken up, on July 9. On that day, the court will also hear a plea to remove MP Governor Ram Naresh Yadav over his alleged involvement in the scam. Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh and Aam Aadmi Party leader Kumar Vishwas too have filed separate petitions, seeking intervention of the Supreme Court.