India official calls for probe into deaths surrounding corruption scandal News
India official calls for probe into deaths surrounding corruption scandal

[JURIST] Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal [BBC profile] on Monday called [Twitter update] for India’s prime minister Narendra Modi [official profile] to open an investigation into the deaths of a number of people connected to an employment exam corruption scandal. The so-called “Vyapam Scam” alleges corruption by members of the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) [official website] stating that board members received bribes [Hindu report] to compromise the examination and recruitment process for several professional courses. Kejriwal’s call to action [Times of India report] stems from the most recent deaths of a journalist investigating the scam, as well as that of a dean of a medical school. Kejriwal also stated that pleas to the Supreme Court for a monitored probe have gone unanswered, and that the existing probe by the Special Task Force (STF) has been biased and ineffective.

India has often faced allegations of corruption against governmental officials. In late 2014, an Indian court sentenced Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram to four years in prison for corruption in a case that was filed 18 years ago, but was quickly overturned by the High Court of Kanartaka, which cleared [JURIST reports] all charges on appeal. Also in 2014, Indian president Pranab Mukherjee signed into law [JURIST report] a landmark anti-graft bill. In 2013 India’s supreme court ruled [JURIST report] that elected representatives convicted of serious crimes must immediately vacate their positions and be disqualified from future elections. A few months later, an MP was convicted [JURIST report] of criminal conspiracy and cheating, and under the recent ruling, was disqualified from holding office and faced four years in jail.