New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notice to the Centre and the Madhya Pradesh government on a petition seeking a CBI probe into the Dental and Medical Admission Test (DMAT) scam for entry to private medical colleges involving 42 percent of government-quota seats.
The bench of Chief Justice H.L. Dattu, Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Amitava Roy, while issuing notice returnable in two weeks, said it may be worse than the Vyapam admission and recruitment scam.
"May be it is worse than Vyapam," observed Justice Mishra, as the court also issued notice to the CBI.
At the outset of the hearing, counsel Kapil Sibal, appearing for petitioner Ashish Kumar Chaturvedi, urged the court to hand over the probe to the CBI as things were not moving.
Initially, the apex court appeared reluctant to hear the matter as it asked Sibal to approach the Madhya Pradesh High Court to deal with the issue.
"We agitated the matter in the high court but (it is) not moving," he told the court.
On a batch of petitions, including one by Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, the apex court on July 9 handed over the investigation into the Vyapam scam to the Central Bureau of Investigation involving government medical colleges.
It will hear the CBI on July 21 on the plea for court monitoring of the probe into the Vyapam scam.
The court also asked the two petitioners Anand Rai and Ashish Kumar Chaturvedi to move an application seeking transfer of other related cases to the apex court.
It would be appropriate if the CBI investigated the matter, counsel Prashant Bhushan appearing for petitioner Anand Rai told the court adding that it would make no sense if the admission scam involving 42 percent state-quota seats was to be investigated separately.
Referring to the statements by the Vyapam controller and others involved in the conduct of Vyapam examinations, Bhushan told the court that the modus operandi used in the DMAT examination conducted by the Association of Private Dental and Medical Colleges (APDMC) was the same as in the Vyapam case.
Bhushan told the court that the candidates who paid the money were told to leave the optical mark reading sheets blank which were later filled up.
The court was told that under the modus operandi, students pursuing MBBS would take the examination and upon being successful, take admission and later surrender on the last date of admission and that seat would be negotiated and given for a huge consideration to another candidate who had taken the admission test and succeeded but was not on the merit list.
Describing the DMAT examination as "just a sham" where "criminality is all pervasive", Bhushan told the court that in the "dual kind of scam" in four years between 2010 and 2013, out of 1,533 state quota seats as many as 721 (47 percent) were given by the private medical colleges illegally.