Madhya Pradesh students whose admission to medical colleges was cancelled in connection with the Vyapam scam failed to get any respite from the Supreme Court. Their petition against the decision made by the top court was dismissed on Monday, reported Hindustan Times.

The 375 students had got admission in medical colleges after “clearing” the recruitment and admissions test conducted by the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board.

“The judgment is a big setback for the students,” said the students’ lawyer. The students had filed a petition against the earlier verdict because the two judges on the bench had different views before passing the order. While Justice J Chelameswar wanted to let the students complete their courses with the condition that they would serve the country for five years without salary, Justice AM Sapre had held that the accused should be barred considering the graveness of the case.

The admissions between 2008 and 2012 were cancelled by the apex court in 2016 after irregularities had surfaced. It was found that Board allowed candidates to use impersonators to take their tests in exchange of money.

The lid on the racket was blown in May 2012 when an invigilator at a test for veterinary colleges realised that one of the candidates was not who he claimed to be. The photo ID card did not match the person who was taking the test held. On investigation, the police found a long trail, spreading across various districts in the state, reported The Indian Express.

The scam came to light in July 2013 and was handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation in 2015. Since then, the investigation agency has registered 112 cases against more than 2,000 accused, including high-level officials and politicians. MP Governor Ram Naresh Yadav had also been booked by the Special Task Force in connection with a forest guard recruitment scam conducted by Vyapam in 2015. However, his post gave him immunity against criminal prosecution.

So far, several people connected to the scam have died under mysterious circumstances. While the CBI is probing 17 deaths, the STF have held that a total of 25 people have died, reported the Hindustan Times. It is widely believed that the number of deaths in connection with the scam are actually much higher.

The mysterious deaths of middlemen and witnesses in the case gained national attention after the death of a journalist who was investigating the scam. A 38-year-old reporter for Aaj Tak had died on July 4, 2015, only hours after he interviewed the family of a girl who had links to the scam and who also died under mysterious circumstances, according to The News Minute.

In January, the CBI got the Centre’s approval to set up a second Anti-Corruption Zone, primarily to expedite investigations and trials in the scam.