India's top court orders investigation into job scam, deaths

2015-07-09 14:25
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New Delhi - India's top court Thursday ordered a federal investigation into a multimillion-dollar college admission and government job recruitment scandal in central India said to be linked to dozens of mysterious deaths.

The Supreme Court ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation, India's FBI, to investigate the alleged irregularities in job recruitment and college admissions as well as the deaths of nearly 50 people associated with the scam.

Police have arrested hundreds of officials for allegedly rigging eligibility tests for admission to medical colleges and recruitment for jobs in the police force, schools and banking sector in Madhya Pradesh state.

'Vyapam scandal'

Opposition Congress party leaders had been demanding a federal inquiry into the scandal as dozens of people, either witnesses or accused participants in the scam, have died over the last five years in inexplicable circumstances. Congress leaders have alleged that some top state bureaucrats and politicians accepted millions of dollars in bribes to facilitate the admissions.

The scandal has come to be known in India as the "Vyapam scandal," after the Hindi language acronym for the state-run employment agency in Madhya Pradesh. For the past couple of weeks, India media have given wide coverage to the sudden deaths of a number of people connected to the scam.

The scandal hit the front pages of newspapers once again last weekend after the death of an investigative journalist who had gone to Madhya Pradesh to speak with witnesses.

The following day, the body of a medical college dean was found in a New Delhi hotel. The official headed a medical college in Madhya Pradesh that was involved in the admissions scandal.

The scam dates to 2007, but investigations began only in 2013 after details emerged that many unqualified and undeserving candidates had been admitted into medical and engineering colleges.

Read more on:    india  |  fraud

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