Bhopal: CBI ‘clean chit’ to former min Sharma, 7 others

Bhopal: The CBI on Saturday gave clean chit to former minister Laxmikant Sharma and seven others, including former OSD OP Shukla in scam relating to transport constable recruitment-2012 conducted by MP Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) Vyapam.

The clean chit was given in final supplementary challan submitted in the court of ADJ Suresh Singh in District and Sessions Court in Bhopal. Earlier, the STF had filed FIR against 39, including former minister Sharma and his OSD OP Shukla in transport constable recruitment. During investigation, the STF had stumbled upon information about appointments being made in lieu of Rs 20lakh. Nearly, 65,000 aspirants had appeared in the exam held on Aug 12, 2012.

However, the CBI failed to find any evidence against Sharma and Shukla. The CBI on Saturday filed the final supplementary challan against 28 accused stating that no evidence was found against former minister Sharma and seven others. The named accused include the then Vyapam director Dr Pankaj Trivedi, system analyst Nitin Mahindra, CK Mishra, Ajay Sen and Ajay Singh Pawar (now dead), Om Prakash (now dead). Suspended DSP Ajay Singh Pawar was accused of securing a job for his son.

Pawar passed away in 2017. Charges have been framed under various sections of the IPC regarding forgery, conspiracy and the IT Act. CBI counsel Satish Dinkar said, “CBI did not recommend Laxmikant Sharma for prosecution. During trial, court may call him if court deems fit. CBI has not given clean chit to Sharma in transport constable recruitment scam. STF never charge-sheeted these 28 accused in transport constable recruitment-2012. STF merely had a suspicion about Laxmikant Sharma’s involvement but never made him an accused.”

Congress leader KK Mishra, in press conference in 2014, had alleged that 19 recruited as transport constables by VYAPAM (Professional education Board) were from Gondia district in Maharashtra from where the chief minister’s wife Sadhna Singh came. The then MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had filed a defamation case against Mishra for levelling charges against him in the transport constable recruitment scam which was part of the Vyapam scam. Case is still pending in court.

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