Top Scams In History That Put India To Shame


New Delhi: It’s no secret that there’s rampant corruption in India, everywhere. Our bureaucracy and the red-tapism truly has no match anywhere in the world. And neither are our politics free from any blame. The bottom line is that politics is a dirty business and our politicians, with their unchecked involvement in corrupt practices, have really tarnished the reputation of our state and country.

Over the past few years or so, we have seen many cases of corruption on a massive, nationwide level.

Here are list of few of mind-numbing scams that has gave major blow to the Indian economy and reputation:

1. 2G spectrum scam

This was yet another scam that tarnished the image of the UPA-2. The politicians of the Congress led coalition government were accused of under-charging telecom companies and making arbitrary spectrum allocations. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), found a gap of ₹1,76, 645 crores between the money collected and the money which should have been collected according to the law.

A. Raja, a member of the Lok Sabha, was accused and is believed to have taken Rs. 3,000 crore as a bribe to pre-pone the cut-off date for applications. The daughter of the former Tamil Nadu chief minister M. Karunanidhi, was also arrested for illegal practices.

2. Bihar fodder scam

The former Chief Minister of Bihar, Lalu Prasad Yadav was allegedly thought to be one of the main perpetrator in this scam. It’s also known as the Chara Ghotala scam and it spanned all through the late 80s and early 90s. It was related to forging documents of the animal husbandry department of Bihar, which supplied fodder, medicines and artificial insemination instruments for livestock all over the state. A network of politicians, government officials and senior bureaucrats involved in the scam would supply fewer goods but would misrepresent or inflate the figures in official documents.

This forgery, which went on for years, involved an embezzlement of around Rs 9.4 billion from the treasury of the Bihar government, and even led to Lalu Yadav resigning from his position. He is now in prison.

3. Satyam scam

The Satyam scam has been India’s biggest accounting scandal so far. The founder of the company confessed to forging the company’s accounts and presenting false information about revenues, interest liabilities, cash balances and operating profits to the board, regulators, investors and all other stakeholders and was found guilty for misleading the market.

In April 2015, Ramalinga Raju, the founder of the company and his brothers were sentenced to 7 years in jail, and were fined for ₹5.5 crore.

4. Hawala scandal

Hawala is an Arabic term which means an informal value transfer system. It is believed to be one of the biggest scandals involving names of well-known politicians who allegedly received money from four hawala brokers, the Jain brothers. The main accused was a man named Surinder Kumar Jain.

The illegal payments were received between February 1988 to April 1991 and politicians like L. K. Advani, Balram Jakhar, V. C. Shukla, and Madan Lal Khurana were among the main accused.

5. Harshad Mehta scam

Harshad Mehta was a very well known stock-broker who was the mastermind behind many financial crimes and financial fraud to manipulate stocks in 1992. He was accused of exploiting various loopholes in the Indian banking system and swindling the banks out of a huge sum which was estimated to be around ₹4000 crore!

After this scam, new rules were introduced by SEBI to cover the loopholes and Harshad Mehta was tried for the case for 9 years until his death in 2001.

6. Saradha Group chit-fund scam

The CBI had arrested a few prominent politicians in the Saradha group financial scandal. The scheme was more of an informal banking system or a small saving scheme in which companies raised funds either through legal ways like collective investment schemes or they forged financial documents such as teak bonds or fictitious ventures. It targeted people from low-income groups and those with no access to banking facilities.

The corruption was revealed after a fraudulent investment scheme run by the Saradha group collapsed. The CBI investigation found the financial malpractices to the tune of Rs. 24 billion.

7. Navy War Room Leak Scandal

Arms Dealers Abhishek Verma and Ravi Shankaran compromised senior defense officials working in the Navy War Room located inside Prime Minister’s Secretariat in India & obtained sensitive data pertaining to military purchases & ongoing defence acquisitions for securing lucrative multibillion-dollar contracts relating to Scorpene Submarines deal of the Indian Navy worth US$6 billion. Ravi Shakaran fled to United Kingdom in 2006. Red corner Interpol notice was issued for him.Even after 8 years of arduous legal battle in UK Courts, Indian Govt failed in his extradition. Abhishek Verma was granted bail in this case in 2008 by Delhi High Court.

The officers Commander Vijendra Rana and Commander V K Jha — for alleged involvement in the Navy war room leak case were removed from service after a board of inquiry (BoI) held that they were involved in providing sensitive information regarding defence forces to outside agencies. The 2005 case involved leak of over 7,000 pages of sensitive defence information from the Navy War Room and the Air Headquarters, with a direct bearing on national security.

The leak of sensitive information came to light in May 2005 when an officer was found in possession of an unauthorised pen drive containing secrets of defence forces. An informal inquiry was held and Rana and Jha were found to be likely conduits. An BoI was convened and it was held that the officers had become undesirable and their sacking was recommended. The Centre accepted the recommendation and dismissed them on October 26, 2005.

Apart form Rana and Jha, former naval officer Kulbhushan Prashar, former IAF Wing Commander Sambha Jee L Surve and alleged arms dealer Abhishek Verma are facing trial in the case for criminal conspiracy under IPC and under various provisions of Official Secrets Act.