New Delhi: The CBI on Monday registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) into the death of Vijay Singh Patel, who was earlier arrested by the Special Task Force (STF) in connection with the Vyapam scam.
Patel, an accused in two Vyapam cases, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in Kanker district of Chhattisgarh on April 28. His body was found inside a BJP legislator’s lodge in Kanker.
Patel, a pharmacist and a resident of Rewa district, was posted at Shajapur district jail. He was arrested for Vyapam involvement but later released on bail.
“This is to enquire whether the death was related to the Vyapam cases or otherwise. The role attributed to him by the STF, Bhopal, was that of an alleged racketeer in Vyapam cases,” a Central Bureau of Investigation spokesperson said in a statement.
The CBI has registered 12 cases so far to probe the Vyapam scam following the Supreme Court order.
More than 40 people associated with the Vyapam scam have died – mostly unnaturally or under mysterious circumstances.
The Centre yet again failed to submit a draft Scheme on the Cauvery river water dispute before the Supreme Court on the ground that the Prime Minister and other ministers were campaigning in Karnataka, which Tamil Nadu flayed as “brazen partisanship”.
Seeking 10 more days to finalize the scheme, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal told Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud: “A draft scheme has been placed before the Cabinet. Because of Karnataka elections, the Prime Minister and all other Ministers are in Karnataka. Before that the Prime Minister was abroad (in China).”
The Centre’s submission was countered strongly by senior counsel Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Tamil Nadu, who said: “Sorry to say, the Central government is politicizing the issue. They are worried about their electoral fate in Karnataka. Election in Karnataka is on May 12 and somehow they don’t want to do it till then. We have enough of it. It is brazen partisanship of the Union of India. It is the end of co-operative federalism.”
The apex court in its February 16 judgement had directed the Centre to frame a Scheme within six months in accordance with the recommendation by the Cauvery River Water Tribunal for constitution of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and Cauvery Regulatory Authority (CRA), which Karnataka opposes strongly.
On the expiry of the six-week deadline, the Centre sought extension of time till the completion of the electoral process in Karnata for submission of the Scheme. Tamil Nadu filed a contempt petition against the Centre for failure to act within the deadline.
During Thursday’s hearing, the court directed the Karnataka government to respond on how much of the four TMC of water it can release by month end. It also sought response from the Centre on the steps taken by it since the pronouncing of the judgement for putting in place a scheme for implementing its order on the sharing of Cauvery water among Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.
In the course of the hearing, the court asked Karnataka to release 4 TMC of water by Monday.
The court said that even if the Centre has not framed the scheme, Karnataka, under the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal award, was obliged to make monthly releases to Tamil Nadu.
The court directed the next hearing of the matter on Tuesday. (IANS)