The Worst Indian Scams

the-worst-indian-scamsMaruti scandal (1974)
Before Maruti Udyog Limited was set up, former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s name came up in the scandal, in which her son Sanjay Gandhi was favoured with a licence to make passenger cars.
Bofors scam (1986)
It was also referred to as India’s Watergate. Indian Government and AB Bofors of Sweden inked a contract in 1986 for supplying 155mm howitzer guns to Indian army. A year later, the Swedish radio alleged Bofors paid Rs. 64 crore as kickbacks to politicians and defence officials to close the deal.
St Kitts forgery scam (1989)
An attempt was made to tarnish V P Singh’s image by forging documents to show he was a beneficiary of $21 million from his son Ajeya Singh’s account in First Trust Corp. at St Kitts.
Airbus scandal (1990)
Indian Airlines signed a Rs. 2,000-crore deal with Airbus instead of Boeing, causing a furore after the crash of an Airbus A-320. New planes were grounded, causing IA a weekly loss of Rs. 2.5 crore.
Securities scam (1992)
A sum of Rs. 4,000 crore was swindled in a scandal involving banking officials, stockbrokers and politicians in 1992. ‘Big Bull’ Harshad Mehta siphoned off funds from inter-bank transactions and bought shares at a premium, triggering a rise in the Sensex. When the scheme was exposed, banks started demanding their money back, causing a market collapse.
Sugar import scam (1994)
Former health Minister Kalpnath Rai had imported sugar for a price higher than the market price, causing a loss of Rs. 650 crore to the Government.
Hawala scam (1996)
Hawala scam involved payments totalling Rs. 1,000 crore which were allegedly received by political leaders through four hawala brokers – Jain brothers. Accusations were made against leading politicians such as L K Advani, Sharad Yadav and Balram Jakhar. It was alleged that terrorist outfits in Kashmir received funding through this means.
Fodder scam (1996)
Crores of rupees were billed to provide cattle feed, etc, to ‘fictitious livestock’. The scam broke out in 1996, when animal husbandry department misused Rs. 950 crore meant for purchasing fodder and medicines in Bihar. Then Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav was forced to resign.
Stock market scam (2001)
Ketan Parekh, a stock broker, used Unit Trust of India and Calcutta Stock Exchange to con investors. After the Government bailed out UTI with Rs. 4,800 crore, it bought manipulated shares from Ketan Parekh. The market crash prompted SEBI to inspect the books of several brokers, including Parekh. As hundreds went bankrupt, markets lost Rs. 1,15,000 crore.
Taj Corridor scam (2002)
Taj Corridor was a project meant to upgrade tourist facilities near Taj Mahal. BJP Government at the Centre gave environmental clearance for the project. Later, it backed out saying the project is not cleared by Environment Ministry. The estimated cost of the project was Rs. 175 crore. It was alleged Mayawati embezzled the money meant for the project.
Stamp paper scam (2003)
The scandal, discovered in 2003, is said to have caused a loss of Rs. 30, 000 crore to the country. Abdul Karim Telgi, the lynchpin, sold fake stamp papers to individuals, banks, insurance companies and share-broking firms through 300 agents.
Coalgate scam (2004-09)
Coalgate is a scam in which Comptroller & Auditor General of India has accused Government of allocating, and not auctioning, coal blocks to firms without the recommendation of appropriate agencies for mining coal from 2004 to 2009. CAG has said the allocation of coal blocks caused losses to the tune of Rs. 1.86,000 crore.
Bellary mining scam (2006-10)
Then Karnataka Lokayukta, Santosh Hegde’s report said the chief Minister and his family was guilty of receiving bribes from mining firms as well as overpricing the land they sold to firms in exchange for issuing mining leases. The Government lost Rs. 100,000 crore in the bargain. G Janardhana Reddy allegedly paid bribe to bag contracts for his company in Bellary.
2G spectrum scam (2008)
2G spectrum scam involved politicians and bureaucracy undercharging mobile telephony firms for allocating frequency licences. The shortfall between the amount collected and the amount that was supposed to be collected was Rs. 1,76,000 crore, according to Comptroller & Auditor General of India. In 2008, 122 new second-generation (2G) licences were given by then Union telecommunications Minister A Raja to companies at a price arrived at in 2001 and on a first-come-first-served basis.
Satyam scam (2009)
Former Satyam chairman Ramalinga Raju allegedly doctored the company’s balance sheet, cheated investors to the tune of Rs. 24,000 crore and set up several firms.
Commonwealth Games scandal (2010)
The Commonwealth Games scam involved large-scale misappropriation of money during the preparatory phase and conduct of 2010 Commonwealth Games held in New Delhi. The total value of the scam was estimated at 70,000 crore. The scam involved politicians, bureaucrats and corporates. Suresh Kalmadi, chairman of Games’ organising committee, was the main accused.
Adarsh housing scam (2010)
Adarsh Housing Society, which was meant to be a six-storey apartment for Kargil war heroes and war widows, was converted into a 100-metre-tall building. Controversy arose when former Revenue Minister of Maharashtra, Ashok Chavan, who processed Adarsh applications, offered flats to relatives, politicians, bureaucrats and military officials at low prices.
Tatra trucks scam (2011)
Bharat Earth Movers Ltd collaborated with Czech firm Tatra Vectra Motors to produce 7,000 all-terrain trucks for the Army. Top officials from BEML and the defence ministry have allegedly siphoned off Rs. 750 crore in bribes and commissions for purchasing components for Tatra trucks.
ISRO scam (2011)
Former ISRO chairman and three other scientists were responsible for a deal between Indian Space Research Organisation’s commercial arm Antrix Corporation and Devas Multimedia in 2011. CAG report found the department of space violated rules in approving the agreement. CAG also said the deal caused a loss of Rs. 200,000 crore to the Government.

 – India Syndicate

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