Shivraj Singh Chouhan during his fast in Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh ChouhanTwitter

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has given a clean chit to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in the alleged Vyapam (Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal) scam of 2013.

In the chargesheet filed on October 31, Tuesday, CBI referred to the hard disk recovered from the office of the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) and states that the excel sheets have no trace of CM Chouhan's involvement. Congress leader Digvijaya Singh had earlier claimed that Chouhan was also involved.

Two years ago, when the Vyapam case was being heard in the court, Digvijaya and one, Prashanth Pandey, had levelled allegations on CM Chouhan and stated that the details in the hard disk were tampered with for the removal of Chouhan's name.

The multi-crore Vyapam scam has already claimed many lives including journalists, cops, a college dean and few students since it surfaced in 2013.

Now, CBI has rubbished Digvijaya's claims and said that there is "no grain of truth in the allegations'. 

The CBI, before filing the chargesheet, had claimed in the Supreme Court that they have discovered certain revealing facts over the involvement of Digvijaya in fabricating the documents.

"We conducted a probe on allegations by Digvijaya Singh and another person on tampering with the hard disk drive seized from a computer of the then Principal System Analyst of Vyapam on July 18, 2013," CBI's chargesheet stated.

"Based on Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) reports and other evidence gathered, the CBI has concluded that there is no tampering in the said drive," it added.

The CBI has accused around 490 people in the scam involving three Vyapam officials -- Nitin Mohindra, Ajay Kumar Sen and CK Mishra.

Vyapam or MPPEB office in Bhopal
Office of Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal (Vyapam) or Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) in BhopalIANS

The clean chit given to CM Chouhan is a major relief as it comes before the 2018 Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections. 

Vyapam Scam: Digvijay requests SC for CBI investigation under SITTwitter

However, the investigating agency has also mentioned about the computer in which the seized hard disk was last plugged. The CBI has claimed that after the hard disk was confiscated by Indore Police on July 18, 2013, the computer and its records were not accessed from July 15, 2013, adding that that the computer was last shut down in July 2013.

Abhishek Dayal, a CBI spokesperson said: "There is no grain of truth in the allegation that the HDD seized on July 18, 2013, from the office of the Principal System Analyst, Vyapam tampered,"

Dayal has also pointed out at the falsification of details in two pen drives submitted earlier by Pandey, to the Delhi High Court, alleging that Chouhan's name was tampered.

"Two pen drives, one kept in custody of the Delhi High Court of Delhi in a writ petition filed by the private person (Pandey) and the other submitted by him to the CBI in a sealed cover were also sent to the CFSL, Hyderabad for analysis," added Dayal.

Clearing the cloud over false allegations by Digvijaya and Pandey, Dayal further said: "All the five excel files in the pen drive provided by the said private person to the Delhi High Court as well as to the CBI, containing reference 'CM' in it, was created or last modified on or after July 18, 2013, as per the report of CFSL."

Vyapam scam
[Representational Image]IANS file