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Vyapam Scam: SC notice for MP Governor removal

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to the Ministry of Home Affairs on a Public Interest Litigation asking for the dismissal of Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav for his involvement in the Vyapam Scam case.

A bench consisting of Chief Justice HL Dattu, Justices Shiva Kirti Singh and Amitava Roy sanctioned the proposal of senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the solicitor, that the notification should be given. The appeal was registered by activist Sanjay Shukla.

The apex court had previously also decided to hear another plea pursuing the dismissal of Yadav as the Governor, for his supposed envelopment in the scam. A petition was filed against him by a group of lawyers who had sought the removal of Yadav, and asked for recordings of his testimonial in the case.

The case is presently being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The multi-layer scam encompasses the rigging of employment examinations and entrance tests for specialised medical institutes; and the hiring of constables, teachers and forest guards, which were conducted from 2004 to 2012. The CBI is also investigating numerous mysterious killings of whistleblowers fighting against the scandal.

The scam has several deaths to its name, and life threats are being given to whistleblowers trying to assist the CBI in accelerating the investigation.  “When the central agency took up the Vyapam scam investigation, we were hopeful that the probe would pick up the pace but they have simply copy-pasted the FIRs registered by the special task force (STF) earlier,” said Bhopal-based whistleblower Ajay Dubey, in an interview with a newspaper.

Till September, the CBI had recorded 83 First Information Reports (FIR) and initiated twelve primary investigations into the Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal (Vyapam) also known as the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) scam.

The recent notification given by the apex court has come as a sign of substantial growth in the case and a hope of superior and nonbiased judgment in the case of activists fighting for justice.

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Another Deadline Missed, No Draft Scheme on the Cauvery Dispute Till Now

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.

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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.
Supreme Court of India. Wikimedia commons

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).”

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.
Parliament of India, wikimedia commons

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.

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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)

 

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