BHOPAL : Friday brought good cheer for Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, with the Special Investigation Team (SIT) supervising the Vyapam probe, telling the Jabalpur High Court that the “evidences” submitted by AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh to it and by “whistle-blower” Prashant Pandey to Delhi High Court, implicating Chauhan in the scam, were “forged”.
The report was presented before a Division bench of Chief Justice Ajay Khanvilkar and Justice Alok Aradhe, which accepted it. The report also recommends filing of criminal cases against those who had “forged” the evidence. The SIT told the Court that “All the material provided in sealed envelopes was forged”. Digvijay Singh and Prashant Pandey, whom the former had named as the provider of the “evidence” in his statement to the SIT on Thursday, may face criminal charges. It had all begun with Digvijay Singh submitting a 15-page affidavit before Justice Chandresh Bushan-led SIT on February 16 this year, alleging that Chief Minister Chauhan along with his family members, was involved in the Vyapam scam and that the Excel sheet recovered from the computer of prime accused Nitin Mahindra was tampered with to protect them.
“The investigating agencies have manipulated and replaced the word ‘CM’ with minister at 21 places, ‘M/s’ at one place and ‘Uma Bharatiji’ at seven places. Further, at 18 places the word ‘CM’ has altogether been removed, leaving just a blank,” Singh claimed, adding this was done to ensure Chauhan’s name did not figure anywhere in the case.
Besides Singh, senior state Congress leaders Kamalnath, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Suresh Pachauri, PCC President Arun Yadav, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Satyadev Katare addressed a press conference that followed the submission of the affidavit.
The SIT sought soft copy of the evidence, which Digvijay submitted to it on a pen drive on February 24.
In a parallel development, in March, Prashant Pandey submitted some documents in Delhi High Court, which, on orders of the court were sent to Jabalpur High Court in a sealed cover. Pandey was also provided police protection on the orders of the Delhi HC after he claimed that his life was in danger and that some officers of MP police were threatening him.
The HC had asked the SIT to probe Digvijay’s complaint. It had also handed over the “evidence” supplied by Prashant Pandey to the agency to get its authenticity verified.
Earlier this month, Digvijay had expressed his “disappointment” with the working of the SIT and claimed that Bangalore-based “Truth Lab” had confirmed tampering with the Excel sheet.
Deputy Advocate General Pushendra Kaurav, talking to Free Press, said, “SIT in its report told HC that all the materials provided by Vyapam whistle blower are forged and High Court accepted it. The next date of hearing is May 8.”