India’s Supreme Court [official website] on Thursday ordered the country’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) [official website] to open an investigation into the deaths of a number of people connected to a college admission and government job recruitment scandal. The so-called “Vyapam Scam” [India Express backgrounder] alleges corruption by members of the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) [official website] stating that board members received bribes [JURIST report] to compromise the examination and recruitment process for several professional courses. The CBI has already arrested hundreds of parents and students who are being investigated for allegedly bribing officials [Times of India report] as well as for the deaths of nearly 50 people connected to the Vyapam Scam. Governor Ram Naresh Yadav of Madhya Pradesh is also said to be linked to the scandal and the court has asked the Madhya Pradesh government [official website, in Hindi] to respond to a petition demanding his removal.
India has often faced allegations of corruption against many governmental officials. In late 2014, an Indian court sentenced [JURIST report] 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.