Bhopal: It is indeed laudatory that the Madhya Pradesh High Court on Thursday in no uncertain terms made it clear that if proven, playing around with young lives by making light of their careers was indeed a heinous crime when it rejected the anticipatory bail asked for by the three main accused in the PMT 2012 scam.
“The petitioners may not be an accused of taking the life of a person but if the allegations are proved, they cannot commit more heinous crime than of playing with the life of young students. It would be a case of the mass killing of the career of numerous students,” a division bench comprising chief justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Vijay Kumar Shukla ruled while dismissing plea for anticipatory bail by three accused in the scam.
The petitioners seeking bail in this case were: Dr Divya Kishore Satpathi- In-charge of Admission Committee, L N Medical College, Bhopal; Jai Narayan Chouksey- Chairman of L N Medical College, Bhopal; and Dr Ajay Goenka- Chairman of Chirayu Medical College, Bhopal.
All three petitions arise out of similar allegations and crime number.
“It would be a case of the mass killing of the career of numerous students. Thus, the seriousness of the allegations and gravity of the accusation against the petitioners is glaring and having wide ramifications on the cause of professional education in the State. Hence, the petitioners are not entitled to concession of pre-arrest bail under Section 438 of CrPC,”
The court highlighted that both action or inaction by petitioners in the case had led to the meritorious being deprived of admissions who otherwise were entitled to them. The acts of the petitioners thus leading to frustration among the bright.
A bail granted to the accused in this case the court felt would act as a reverse of the rule, that admissions are to be granted only on the basis of merit.
According to the prosecution, the allegations against the petitioners and other middlemen state that they for sums of money had bright students of states other than Madhya Pradesh appear for the Pre-Medical Test 2012, despite some of them having admissions to MBBS courses in some colleges.
The prosecution further alleged that officials of VYAPAM furthering criminal conspiracy with the three racketeers Santosh Gupta, Sanjeev Shilpkar and Jagdish Sagar generated roll numbers in such a manner that it had bogie candidates and engine candidates, in this case, solvers got to sit next to each other to facilitate cheating. This pairing was termed as “engine-bogie pairing”. This fraud is alleged to have taken place in Bhopal, Shahdol and Indore.
The Central Bureau of Investigation has sent 25 (14+11) middleman/ racketeers; 181 (38+123+20) engine candidates; 308 (153+138+17) bogie candidates; 46 invigilators; 4 VYAPAM officials and 2officials of Directorate of Medical Education, to stand trial.
Meanwhile the allegations against the four private medical colleges: People’s Medical College, Chirayu Medical College, Index Medical College and L N Medical College that engine candidates were through counselling allotted private medical colleges ,however they did not actually take admissions in these colleges, as the sole purpose of them appearing for counselling was to block the seats which could later be given to bogie candidates. Though the Director, Medical Education was given wrong information regarding the status of their admissions. The engine candidates were paid by the middlemen for the blocking of state quota seats.
The actual admission status remained undisclosed to the Director, Medical education, to prevent the seats from getting filled during the second round of counselling. The seats left vacant by engine candidates were then filled by bogie ones before the last date of admission, in this case, was 30.09.2012.
It may be mentioned here that half of the seats in private medical colleges are filled through an examination conducted by Association of Private Medical Colleges, whereas the other half are filled by successful candidates of Pre-Medical Test examination, called Government quota seats.
The entire Vyapam allegations are revolving around Government quota seats.
K T S Tulsi, the senior counsel appearing for the petitioner Dr Ajay Goenka while quoting a recent judgment of the Supreme Court rendered in the case of Nikesh Tarachand Shah vs the Union of India and another decided on November 23 wherein constitutional validity of Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 was under challenge, argued .
that the rule is bail and not jail. He said life and personal liberty could not be compromised on, except in accordance with the fair, just and reasonable procedure established by valid law. Personal liberty of the petitioners he said could not be curtailed only on filing of charge-sheet against the petitioners.
The court however abided by its ruling that the meritorious alone deserved to be admitted to medical colleges. It said that in this case the meritorious had been denied justice leading to frustration. It emphasized that granting of bail, in this case, would be an antithesis of the rule that only merit credited admission.
Thus, describing the gravity of the accusation against the petitioners as “ glaring.”
The court further observed that the action of the petitioners if proven would reflect upon how professional courses are being conducted by the private medical colleges. Speaking of the wide ramifications the action of the petitioners might have if proven correct on the cause of professional education in the State, the court stated: “we do not find that the petitioners are entitled to the concession of pre-arrest bail,” reports TOI.