The Supreme Court today agreed to the plea by whistleblowers from Madhya Pradesh who sought transfer of four pending petitions relating to Private Dental and Medical College admission scam from Jabalpur High Court to Supreme Court.
But a bench headed by newly sworn in Chief Justice T S Thakur asked the whistle blowers to first implead MP government, centre and the exam board as respondents.
"So the general impression is that the colleges are manipulating the exams. If we are examining the matter why should the high court go into it? "asked justice Thakur.
"However we will not link it with the Vyapam issue and the criminal cases" said the bench. The government and other respondents have been asked to file their response within three weeks.
Whistleblowers Anand Rai and Paras Saklecha contend that there is enough evidence that children and relatives of Madhya Pradesh judges have benefitted and they are among those who bought seats in private medical and dental colleges.
The petitions have been pending before the HC since long and no action has been taken on them. We do not expect that we will get a fair hearing also because relative of influential politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen in the state are also beneficiaries and they could exert pressure on the court.
CBI had on August 14 DMAT scam a bigger scandal than Vyapam following which the Supreme Court asked the MP government to decide if it was willing to hand over its probe to CBI.
There are 15 private dental colleges and six private medical colleges in Madhya Pradesh with nearly 2,800 seats for which the Association for Private Medical and Dental Colleges (APDMC) conducts DMAT every year. Around 42 per cent of the seats fall under government quota, 43 per cent seats are for the college management and the remaining 15 per cent go to NRIs. State quota seats were filled up through Vyapam and the remaining seats, comprising management and NRI quotas, were filled through DMAT.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal and Bhushan appearing for the whistleblowers led by Anand Rai and others informed the bench about the magnitude of the scam. Elaborating on the modus operandi, Bhushan said unscrupulous students of medical colleges sit in DMAT to help others in consideration of money and later give up their seats at the last moment as they are already studying in other medical colleges. "The seats vacated by the racketeers are filled illegally by private medical colleges," he said.
In what came as a glimpse into the scale of irregularities in admissions to private dental and medical colleges in Madhya Pradesh the MP government told SC that 721 state quota seats were illegally filled during 2009-13. The state government said in its affidavit that 198 admissions were made by the private medical colleges against state quota seats illegally in 2013 itself and a fine of Rs.13.10 crore was imposed on them.
"The state government had filed complaints with the Admission and Fee Regulation Committee (AFRC). As an outcome of the complaint, the AFRC had concluded that approximately 721 seats of the state quota have been illegally filled by private medical colleges during 2009, 2010, 2011 2012 and 2013," the affidavit said.
The government said it is taking all necessary steps to curb the illegal practices and asked the SC to consider all the issues raised by it before taking a final decision on directing CBI probe.