MP governor gets second SC notice in Vyapam scam. What was his role?
The Supreme Court issued a notice on 20 November in the multi-crore and multi-state Vyapam scam to the Madhya Pradesh government, the Union government and Madhya Pradesh governor Ram Naresh Yadav.
Hearing a PIL seeking the removal of Yadav over his alleged involvement in the scam, a bench led by Chief Justice of India HL Dattu sought replies from all three parties in three weeks.
The plea was filed by activist Sanjay Shukla, through advocates Sumeer Sodhi and Varun Tankha. It urged that since the state government had not acted upon on the issue of the governor's removal, the apex court should intervene in the matter.
It also requested the court to lay down the guidelines to be followed in cases where there are serious allegations against top constitutional functionaries in a state.
The governor's role in Vyapam
Ram Naresh Yadav is a seasoned politician, who was Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh from 1977 to 1979. He was in the Janata Party then, but later joined the Congress.
He was appointed governor under the UPA government by former President Pratibha Patil in August 2011. Sworn into office in September 2011, he has nearly 10 months to go before his term comes to an end.
This is the second notice issued by the SC to Yadav in the case. The first one was issued on July 9 with the transfer of the case to the CBI. Earlier, the Special Task Force investigating the scam had registered an FIR against Yadav in February 2015.
The FIR was lodged in connection with alleged irregularities in the recruitment of forest guards through Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board or VYAPAM. Yadav was also booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Ram Naresh Yadav's son Shailesh died in March under circumstances unexplained so far
His son Shailesh Yadav's name too came up during the investigation. Shailesh died in March under circumstances unexplained so far.
Veerpal Singh, an accused in the scam arrested in November 2014, had alleged that Rs 3 lakh in cash was given to Shailesh in the Raj Bhavan to ensure that 10 candidates from Bhind cleared the examination for contractual teachers.
The governor's former officer on special duty, Dhanraj Yadav, was also arrested in 2013 by the STF in connection with the scam. The governor had immediately sacked Dhanraj, claiming he was not aware of his alleged involvement in the scam.
Fearing arrest, he moved the Madhya Pradesh High Court in March 2015, pleading special immunity granted by the Constitution to the President and governors while in office. The High Court stayed his arrest and he continues to be in office.