NEW DELHI: After the alleged suicide of Anamika Kushwaha, a woman trainee sub-inspector recruited through Vyapam, a whistleblower has disclosed that at least 30,000 people are involved in India’s biggest recruitment scam, pegged at Rs 20,000 crore.
Speaking to Express from Ratlam, Madhya Pradesh, Paras Saklecha said a total of 46.3 lakh people, including 73,480 who appeared for the Pre Medical Test (PMT) and 45.6 lakh candidates in recruitment exams held in the last three years, are under scanner.
But only a selective list is being probed by the Special Task Force (STF) that is being supervised by a Special Investigation Team (SIT). Saklecha said recruitment in government departments is bigger than PMT but the latter is being highlighted to protect top officials involved in the alleged jobs-for-money scam.
“Recruitment was conducted for 40 departments during 2012-14 but the present investigation is looking into exams related to only eight government departments. Also, probe and interrogation is confined to candidates and suspected touts but top officials are yet to be questioned,” Saklecha said, adding that top officials are still protected by State machinery.
The documents Saklecha submitted to STF said that between 2004 and 2014, 79 recruitment drives were conducted by the State government.
The gravity and scale of the scam can be gauged from the fact that only 114 cases of irregularities were detected in PMT in 2009. The number climbed to 900 in 2012-13 and reached 3,500 by 2015.
Saklecha, who accessed several documents through RTI, claimed that the ongoing probe is selective and misses several crucial aspects of the scam.
The RTI received from Gwalior College suggests that the administration did not receive OMR sheets for 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010 from Vyapam. Notably, Ramendra Singh Bhadoria from Gwalior College, who was accused of using an impersonator in the 2009 exam, was found hanging at his home on January 15, 2015. The college, in a report submitted to the High Court on December 3, 2013, said that no rigging was found in 2011-2012 in the PMT exams. However, in an RTI reply, it claimed that 13 candidates who were found to have used touts to clear the exam were sacked.
“Similarly, details of Gandhi Medical College, Bhopal, tabled in 2009 in Vidhan Sabha stated that authorities found 54 rigging cases, but in a meeting on January 28, 2011, the number was reduced to 34 and it was further brought down to 26 in the April 7, 2011, meeting. This indicates high-level manipulation by government officials,” he added.
Examiners’ List Destroyed
Vyapam destroyed the list of invigilators where cases of rigging were found in PMT during 2008-2011. But it has preserved the OMR sheets and cover page of all the files, indicating cover up by the authorities.