A special court in Bhopal on Monday, 25 November, handed jail terms ranging from two to ten years to the 31 people it convicted last week in a Vyapam scam case related to irregularities in a police constable recruitment examination in 2013.
The special CBI court investigating the Vyapam scam had convicted 12 examinees, 12 fake candidates (who took the exam in place of original candidates and seven middlemen on 21 November and set Monday for pronouncing the quantum of sentence.
The court of Special Judge SB Sahu had also ordered the arrest of all 31 and sent them to Central Jail.
Out of 150 cases related to Vyapam scam, this judgment relates to the 14th case and this is the first time the court has convicted all the accused. The STF had registered a case under sections 419, 420 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code against the accused. The verdict was been based on the statements of 90 witnesses and 450 documents of evidence.
CBI Special Public Prosecutor Satish Dinkar said the examination was conducted on 15 September 2013. Following the complaint of irregularities, 31 accused were arrested at the Bhopal and Datia centres. The case was handed over from the STF to the CBI on the orders of the Supreme Court.
In this case, along with 6 candidates from Datia exam centers and 6 from Bhopal, 12 other people who were taking the exam in their place were arrested. These led to the arrest of middlemen.
Most of the accused were from Bhind, Morena, Datia, Gwalior, and Bhopal as well as from neighbouring Uttar Pradesh.
The maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of Rs 5,000 was handed to middleman and key conspirator Pradeep Tyagi, who organised the imposters for original candidates and facilitated the examination through them. The others have ordered to serve jail sentences varying from two to five years and fines from Rs 1,000 to Rs 3,000.
The Special Public Prosecutor said that the guilty candidates had made a plan to get a solver to take the examination in their place while filling the form. They had affixed blurred photographs in the examination form so that invigilators do not recognize the solvers.
Many invigilators, however, matched the photo with the examinees, and caught the candidates.
The CBI, which is probing the scam since July 2015, had registered 170 FIRs. Of these, 143 have seen charge sheets being filed. Investigations have been closed in 20 cases, including 16 cases of suspected deaths. Investigation of seven cases is continuing. There are more than 2,500 accused in the cases related to the scam.
Apart from Tyagi, the other convicts are: Rahul Pandey, Ashish Kumar Pandey, Kulvijay, Abhishek Katiyar, Suyyesh Saxena, Prabhakar Sharma, Neeraj alias Tinku, Anil Yadav, Ajay Sankarwar, Dharamesh Sahu, Phoolkunwar, Devendra Sahu, Ajit Chaudhary, Bhupendra Singh Tomar, Santosh Sharma, Chandrapal Kashyap, Punjab Sahu, Ravi Shankar, Naavis Jatav, Mukesh Sahu, Arun Gurjar, Udaybhan Sahu, Danish Dhakad, Antanadar Sahu, Prithvendra Sahu Tomar, Sudeep Sharma, Ajay P Tapu Sahu, Kalyani Sahu Sikarwar, Gulvir Singh Jat, and Rajvir Singh alias Bunty.