The Congress government in Madhya Pradesh has set itself up for huge embarrassment after the prime accused in the Vyapam scam, Jagdish Sagar, was seen at the same school event attended by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath. The same event was also attended by senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh and Higher Education Minister Jitu Patwari. Sagar was seen during the prize distribution programme at Daily College School in Indore.
Sagar is accused of having conspired to get admissions for more than 150 students in medical colleges through Vyapam. Two cases were filed against Sagar pertaining to the Pre-Medical Test in 2012 and 2013. He was arrested for being the mastermind of the Vyapam scam in 2013 and after spending years in jail, had secured bail in 2015 after CBI took over the case.
In 2018, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had filed a charge sheet in the Vyapam scam against ‘mastermind’ Dr Jagdish Sagar, two officials of the exam board, and others under the anti-money laundering law. Apart from Sagar who acted as the middleman, Dr Vinod Bhandari who is the ex-chairman of Sri Aurobindo Institute of Medical Sciences (SAIMS), and Vyapam officials Dr Pankaj Trivedi and Nitin Mohindra were named. The chargesheet was filed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The charges against Jagdish Sagar was filed in 2018 after the investigation had revealed that he illegally acquired money by resorting to malpractices in PMT-2012, pre-PG examination-2012, PMT-2013, and that he had deposited the illegal earnings in the regular banking channels and acquired various properties.
In the 2018 Madhya Pradesh Assembly Elections, Jagdish Sagar had fought on a BSP ticket and lost. Sagar had fought the Gohad seat where Congress candidate Ranjiv Jatav had won and Sagar had come a distant third.
Interestingly, a Bhopal court in 2018 had directed police to FIR against in Congress leaders Kamal Nath, Digvijay Singh, Jyotiraditya Scindia and whistleblower Prashant Pandey in the Vyapam scam case. A district court in Bhopal had issued this order to Shyamala Hills police station in Bhopal, on the accusation of submitting false evidence in High Court and Supreme Court.
The court order had come as a complaint filed by BJP law cell under several sections of IPC including 420, 466 and 468. The complaint alleges that the Congress leaders have misled the court by submitting forged documents before Madhya Pradesh High Court. The petition also alleges that the Congress leaders are trying to mislead the court and manipulate the investigation into the scam.
This petition had come as a counter-petition filed by Digvijay Singh against several BJP leaders. On 19 September 2018, Digvijay Singh had filed the petition accusing that the then MP Chief Minister Shivraj Sing Chauhan is at the root of the Vyapam Scam. He had also submitted around 27,000 pages of documents related to Scam along with the petition. Senior lawyer Kapil Sibal had represented Singh in the court.
The Congress leaders had alleged that a hard disk related to the case was tampered with. Sibal had said that the then CM’s name appeared 48 times in the disk, which was removed by police. Sibal claimed he had sent the data to Truth Lab in Bengaluru and they had found that data was tampered with.
But, Forensic Science Laboratory in Hyderabad had concluded that disk was not tampered with, and Shivraj Singh Chouhan was already given a clean shit by Supreme Court two years ago in the matter based on the FSL. Therefore, BJP had alleged that Congress was misleading the court by again saying that disk tampered when SC has already accepted the FSL report that disk was genuine.
It is pertinent to note here that in 2017, Congress leader KK Mishra was sentenced to two years in prison for defaming Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his family in the Vyapam case.