Police deposed before a local court that the main accused Mithilesh Pandey alias Guruji and co-accused Shiv Bahadur gave them a hard time during the interrogation and did not stick to their statements. They added that both of them were involved in other major scams, including the Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh, the Telangana medical paper leak of 2016 and the Chit Fund scam, station house officer and incharge of the SIT, inspector Jaswinder Kaur, told the court on Wednesday.
The accused in the UT teachers’ recruitment scam were produced before the court of judicial magistrate first class (JMIC) Jagmeet Singh where police pleaded that their remand be extended by seven days.
The judge gave a police remand of another three days and directed police to get the medical examination of both the accused after every 24 hours and once before producing them before the court on July 15.
However, the defence counsel strongly opposed the plea for remand by police, contesting how they had failed to recover documents from the accused. The judge also questioned police about the investigation in the last five days. The SHO stated that both Pandey and Bahadur backtracked from their statements. They also old the court that the accused were taken to Lucknow, Delhi Press, parts of Bihar, to help recover the whereabouts of the other accused. Police claimed that they needed to arrest Joginder from Azamgarh, Poonam from Bhojpur, Salender from Bihar, Sukhpreet Singh from Bathinda and also recover ₹68 lakh from Varanasi and Lucknow.
The defence counsel opposed this by stating that the two accused could not be kept in remand as police was clueless even after over a year had passed from the filing of the FIR.
It was also stated that Kamlesh, a lawyer, who helped the accused to plan the paper leak, was also expected to help in the investigation until police found out that he had died. The judge also questioned the authenticity of the bank accounts of the accused during the proceedings.
The SHO said, “Mithilesh finally conceded that he is Guruji. When I asked him why he cooked up this story about his name change as Sanjay Srivastav, and allegations of torture by police during the last hearing,he told me that he didn’t want us to get remand.”
She added that he had agreed that he was Mithilesh Pandey aka Guruji. Sources said Mithilesh told police that he gave ₹65 lakh to Shiv Bahadur, who he called the “kingpin”, ₹15 lakh to Sukhpreet, ₹10 lakh to Ajay Daggar, a Haryana inspector, and was left with only ₹3 lakh.
Earlier on Saturday, Pandey, alias Guruji, told the court that he was Sanjay Srivastav, not Mithilesh. He accused the SHO and other police personnel of making him forcibly write a statement posing as Mithilesh.
The JBT-TGT exam was conducted for the posts of 1,150 teachers in January to February 2015 and got leaked from a Delhi-based printing press. An FIR in this connection was registered by Chandigarh Police following a communication from the Punjab vigilance wing on July 19, 2016. Sixteen persons, including teachers, were arrested in the case. Police claimed that at least 300 aspirants who took the test after they got the papers were enrolled as teachers in Chandigarh.