After Vyapam, DMAT scam gives MP govt toothache
- DMAT is the Dental and Medical Admission Test in Madhya Pradesh
- A scam related to it came to light in June when its controller, Yogesh Uprit, was arrested
- It is worth Rs 10,000 crore, and has been labelled \'worse\' than Vyapam by the Supreme Court
- The entrance test was slated for 12 July, but was cancelled
- This was due to revelations of collusion between Vyapam and DMAT authorities
- Judges are also allegedly involved in the scam
- Whistleblower Paras Saklecha now claims the authorities are not following a High Court directive
Scams are tumbling thick and fast out of the closet of the Madhya Pradesh government.
As if the Vyapam scam and the mysterious deaths related to it weren't enough to give Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan a headache, trouble seems to be mounting in the recently-exposed Dental and Medical Admission Test (DMAT) scam as well.
'Worse' than Vyapam
The Rs 10,000-crore DMAT scam came to light in June this year when the controller of DMAT, Yogesh Uprit, was arrested.
Hearing the plea of whistleblower Dr Anand Rai for a CBI investigation into the scam, the Supreme Court termed it as 'worse' than the Vyapam scam.
There are allegations of the involvement of ministers, police officers and members of the judiciary in the scam. The Congress has alleged that CM Chouhan's kin were the beneficiaries in the scam.
The admission test was slated to be held on 12 July, but was cancelled after revelations of collusion between Vyapam and DMAT authorities and allegations about the involvement of judges in the scam.
Change of exam format
The Association of Private Dental and Medical Colleges of Madhya Pradesh (APDMCMP), however, cited technical reasons for the postponement. The APDMCMP submitted a proposal to conduct the examination online on 24 July.
But now, whistleblower and former MLA Paras Saklecha has questioned the decision to conduct this examination online.
Saklecha has asked why the agency is not following a 9 July directive by the Madhya Pradesh High Court to scan the OMR answer-sheets of DMAT candidates at the examination centre, soon after the test is held.
The Supreme Court has termed the Rs 10,000 crore DMAT scam in Madhya Pradesh as 'worse' than the Vyapam scam
During the hearing, the counsel for the APDMCMP had argued that it may not be possible due to the paucity of time and money. However, Saklecha, who has filed a petition in the court demanding a CBI probe into the matter, sees a conspiracy behind the change in the examination pattern.
He says it will be the APDMCMP that will decide the agency for the online examination. Therefore, there cannot be a guarantee that no irregularities will take place in the admission tests.
"APDMCMP has still not revealed the reasons for the change in the examination pattern. It had expressed an inability to bear the expenses for the scanning of the OMR sheets. How is it ready to bear the burden of online examinations then? It will be an injustice to the students if the rules of the game are changed at the last moment," says Saklecha.
Vyapam investigators under CBI scanner
Meanwhile, the police officers involved in the investigation of the Vyapam scam and the deaths related to it are losing sleep after the CBI took over the probe. They are afraid of revelations of any bungling on their part.
Many of them were hoping that the CBI would start a fresh probe into the deaths. However, the agency is investigating the existing theories of accidents or suicides in many of these cases. It is specifically looking into police diaries to find the lacunae in the police investigation.
Many of the investigators have been summoned for questioning by the CBI, sending shivers down the spines of many officers in the state.
It may be noted that the Indore Crime Branch was the first to bring Vyapam scam to light. It has been accused of tampering with key excel-sheet documents.
The sword hanging above their heads is looking especially threatening to the police officers who acted against the whistleblowers.
In a related development, the bench hearing the cases related to the Vyapam scam has been transferred.
According to a new roster, the cases will now be heard by the bench of Justice SS Kemkar and Justice KK Trivedi.
All the Vyapam-related cases were transferred to a Jabalpur bench headed by the Chief Justice AM Khanwilkar in March last year.
The bench comprising the Chief Justice and Justice JK Maheshwari will now deal with the cases related to environment and mining.