Scam-accused Madhya Pradesh Governor on the run
Posted February 28, 2015on:
Never heard before that criminal proceedings can be started against a serving Governor but it has happened in Madhya Pradesh. Governor Ram Naresh Yadav is now on the run following institution of criminal proceedings against him for his alleged involvement in what has come to be known as the Professional Examinations Board (PEB) scam. Curiously, the Congress party, too, has turned against Yadav, himself a Congress leader and appointed to Bhopal Raj Bhavan by the Congress-led UPA government — and the BJP is defending him. When the Governor rose to read his customary address at the start of the budget session of the State Assembly on February 18, the Congress members walked out seeking resignation of the Governor (as well as that of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan). The Governor read out the first and last para of the address to the treasury benches and sat down.
Yadav had forfeited the confidence of the State Congress leaders when he adroitly scuttled a discussion on the Congress-sponsored motion of no-confidence in the Chouhan government on the eve of the November 2013 Assembly elections. The distraught Congress, however, could not decide how to react to the Governor’s unexpected move. When the name of a trusted lieutenant of the Governor appeared a year later in connection with what has come to be known as the PEB (Professional Examinations Board) recruitment scam, a feeble appeal was made by some Congress leaders to Yadav to resign on moral grounds.
The alleged involvement of Yadav’s son, Shailesh Yadav, seems to have landed the Governor in a real soup and also emboldened and united the disparate Congress in the State. The Special Task Force (STF) which is probing the PEB scam has made Shailesh Yadav an accused in the teachers’ recruitment scam. The summons issued by the STF were returned by the Raj Bhavan with the remark that Shailesh did not reside there. An STF team was headed for Uttar Pradesh to apprehend Shailesh. Now the Special Task Force (STF) constituted to probe the PEB scam must have found some clinching evidence to proceed against the Governor himself.
At the same time, chief minister Chouhan is also finding himself in greater trouble. His position has been made untenable by a sworn affidavit submitted by AICC general secretary and former Congress chief minister Digvijaya Singh to High Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by a former judge, alleging tampering of evidence by the STF to save the chief minister. Singh later released at a press conference the copy of his affidavit along with the documents he had submitted to the SIT.
In a rare show of unity in the Madhya Pradesh Congress, Digvijaya Singh was accompanied at the press conference by former Union ministers Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia, PCC president Arun Yadav and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Satyadev Katare. Eminent advocate K T S Tulsi was also present. The affidavit says at the end: “vetted and settled by Sh. Kapil Sibal, Senior Advocate”.
According to Digvijaya Singh’s affidavit, the “CM” was deleted and other names were typed 47 times in the computer to show that the illegalities were committed not on instructions of the chief minister but on the instructions of others. At a few places “CM” was replaced by “Uma Bharti” also. He says: “as per law it is mandatory to maintain a record of ‘chain of custody’ of electronic evidence, which encapsulates the persons who handled the specimen/evidence at time of seizure, what was collected, why it was collected, at what time it was handed over to next person for safe custody, to whom it was handed over, and for how long it remained in custody of various officials. The charge-sheet is silent on handling of records from local police, Indore, to Crime Branch, Indore and STF”.