CBI Pulls Out 20 Officers From Vyapam Scam Probe, Redirects To Delhi Anti-Corruption Branch

| March 11 , 2018 , 10:43 IST

The  Central Bureau of Investigation has pulled out 20 of its officers from its Bhopal ‘Special Vyapam Scam Branch’ in a single day despite there being more than 50 pending cases. All of the officers have been transferred to the CBI anti-corruption branch in Delhi.

The ‘Special Vyapam Scam Branch’ was established by the CBI in 2016 with a posting of more than 100 officers including DIG, ASPs, DSPs and inspectors. However, including the recent transfers, more than 70 percent of the total staff has been moved out in the past 6 months, TOI quoted sources as saying.

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According to CBI officials, the investigations in 40 out of the 50 pending cases is at an advanced stage.

“In more than 100 cases, people have been chargesheeted and trials are on. Some officials will be transferred as a matter of routine,” said a CBI officer.

Initially, when the CBI took over the investigation into the 2013 Vyapam entrance exam/recruitment scam from the Madhya Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) in July 2015, Opposition parties had expected swift results. Subsequently, a 40-member team was formed by the CBI director, but the transferred officers began asking to be sent back to their previous postings, away from the Vyapam centre.

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“Investigators were roped in from northern and southern states. They were told they can shift their families to Bhopal and concentrate on the probe,” said another officer.

“The colossal task of investigating 107 cases of corruption and nearly 50 cases of suspected deaths related to Vyapam, and examining more than 2,000 accused persons cannot be done with the existing manpower and infrastructure,” said a CBI status report to the Supreme Court on September 10, 2015.

Considering the CBI's own statement regarding the massive scale of the investigations, it comes as more of a surprise that its officers are being transferred away from the Vyapam scam, and that too back to Delhi's anti-corruption branch. Opposition parties have often slammed the government for using 'agencies' such as the CBI to carry out 'politically influenced' probes and investigations.