Take over all Vyapam cases, SC tells CBI

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take over all Vyapam scam cases – involving irregularities in admissions and recruitment in Madhya Pradesh – irrespective of the stage of their investigations or trial.

“We direct the CBI to take over 72 cases which are in different stages, within three weeks,” said a bench of Chief Justice H.L. Dattu, Justice C. Nagappan and Justice Amitava Roy.

The apex court also directed the Special Task Force/Special Investigation Team that was investigating these cases earlier, and even till now, to extend all co-operation when such a request was made by the CBI.

Noting that the CBI was already processing the appointment of 19 public prosecutors to lead its cases before the trial court, the court asked it to complete the appointment of 48 public prosecutors needed to cover 24 trial courts.

Fixing October 9 as the next date of hearing in the case, the apex court asked the CBI to file a status report on compliance of its orders.

As Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar told the court of the difficulty that the probe agency was facing in getting the required manpower, the court reminded him of the commitment made by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi that the agency would take over all the cases including the appointment of public prosecutors.

Appearing for the department of personnel and training, Rohatgi told the court that the investigating agency had 6,000 people and another 900 are being recruited. He told the court that difficulty was that they needed police officers of the rank of inspector or sub-inspectors but people from state police were not inclined to come to CBI.

As senior counsel K.T.S.Tulsi appearing for one of the petitioners said that generally it has been seen that people are happy to come to CBI on deputation, Rohatgi said that it was only in the case of senior officers and not ground-level officers.

At lower rung, personnel from state police are reluctant to come over to CBI as it results in their dislocation from the state.

The Supreme Court on July 9 handed over cases involving wrong-doings with regards to admissions and recruitment effected by Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal (Vyapam) or Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) over the years to the central investigating agency.