In early July, when the Supreme Court ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation to take over all the cases related to the “Vyapam scam” in Madhya Pradesh, many believed that it would mark the start of an efficient, independent probe into the sordid affair. The scam, which centres on large-scale fraud in a major examination system in the state, is believed to involve influential government officials and politicians. The public had little faith in the state police’s ability to conduct a fair investigation.
The CBI, however, was reluctant to take on the probe. As the number of cases linked to the scam grew, the agency protested to the court that it simply did not have enough officers to handle the workload. “It is humbly submitted that the CBI is finding it extremely hard and almost impossible to cope with the extent of cases already being investigated,” the agency told the court in August.
The court had little sympathy for the CBI’s troubles. Chief Justice HL Dattu told the agency in September that whether the cases were “simple, complicated, complex, super-complex,” the agency had to take on the work. In another related hearing in September, the court appeared to blame the agency for its own staff shortage, saying: “There should be a CBI probe against the CBI for not promoting staffers inside the agency.”
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