The Vyapam Scam

On July 7th, 2013, the Indore Crime Branch, Madhya Pradesh arrested 20 impersonators for appearing on behalfof actual candidates for a Pre-Medical Test conducted by the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Boardin 20091. This seemingly innocuous incident in a country used to far more brazen (and well documented)attempts at cheating by desperate students eventually went on to blow the lid off one of the largest cases ofinstitutional corruption in the country.Exactly two years to the day, and approximately 502 (other figures claim as many as 1563) suspicious deathslater, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, finally buckled under immense pressureand on July 7th, 2015 called for a probe into the matter by the Central Bureau of Investigation, claiming "a wishto honour public sentiment"4. This was seen by some, however, as nothing but the Chief Minister simplyyielding to the inevitable, since the Supreme Court had decided to hear petitions asking for the Vyapam probeto be entrusted to the CBI two days later on July 9th. As expected, it ordered the investigations to be transferredfrom the state’s Special Task Force (STF) to the CBI on that day itself5. Moreover, the bench criticised theMadhya Pradesh High Court for failing to rule on whether to transfer the Vyapam investigation to the CBI onthe grounds that the matter was pending before the Supreme Court. "Instead of taking a decision, the MadhyaPradesh High Court washed its hands off (the case) and put the ball in our court," the Court said. Mr. Chouhansaid, "There was a burden in my heart. I am relieved that the CBI will probe and get to the truth."6