Vyapam Scam
Youth congress activists staging a demonstration against state government demanding CBI probe on Vyapam scam in Bhopal. [Representational Image]IANS

A 40-member team of the Central Bureau of Investigation arrived in Bhopal on Monday, to take charge of Vyapam scam case from the Special Investigation Team (SIT), which was probing the exam scam under the supervision of Special Task Force (STF).

The CBI team will be headed by a joint director-level officer and will have its headquarters in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. The CBI team will register multiple cases and take over the case from the 13 SITs, Hindustan Times reports.

The Supreme Court had on 9 July transferred the exam scam case from the STF to the CBI. The top court gave two weeks time to the agency to file its report and posted the next hearing on 24 July.

Even as the CBI is all set to begin the probe into the massive recruitment scam, the SIT chiefs are unsure about the future of their teams. The SITs have been investigating cases at the divisional and district level since 2006, but it is still unclear to them if the CBI will take charge of all or some cases.

"According to the Supreme Court's order, investigation of the Vyapam scam has been transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation. But there is no clear instruction whether only cases investigated by SITs would be handed over or all cases," a senior STF officer said.

"A team of CBI is visiting the STF headquarters; let's see if they take over cases investigated by SITs or only those probed by the STF."

It is said that the CBI will first initiate probe into the cases registered by the STF and later request the state government to hand over all the other FIRs linked to the scam to them.

The case was handed over to the CBI after Congress leader Digvijay Singh, AAP leader Kumar Vishwas and the whistle-blowers of the Vyapam scam moved the SC seeking CBI probe for fair trial. They approached the top court after four more people linked to the scam died mysteriously earlier this month.

Nearly 40 people with connection to the scam have died so far. The deceased include witnesses, accused and those investigating the scam. One of the four whistle-blowers, Ashish Chaturvedi claimed that his will be the next mysterious death, as he fears even he too will be killed like others were.

Chaturvedi has alleged that Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is a "big fish" in the recruitment scam and his government wants him dead. He further alleged that both the BJP and the Congress were involved in the scam that also includes top bureaucrats and politicians, including, Madhya Pradesh governor Ram Naresh Yadav.