Biggest scams of India post its independence – part 2

A massive list presented by Voxytalksy on the biggest scams of India post its independence

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IndiaToday.com
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Telecom Scam (1996)

.indiatvnews.com

Sukh Ram, the former Minister of State for Communication was accused of causing a loss of Rs 1.6 crore to the exchequer when he favored a Hyderabad- based private firm in the purchase of telecom equipment. He was convicted in 2002, along with two others.

Fodder Scam (1996)

Livemint.com

The scam came to light when the accountant general found withdrawals of excess funds by Bihar’s animal husbandry department (government treasury) in the purchase of animal fodder. Later, the scam was calculated to be worth Rs 950 crore which revealed that it was a result of small-scale embezzlement by some government employees who kept submitting false expense reports. The then Chief Minister of the state Lalu Prasad Yadav was treated as the main accused in these cases. Ex-CM of Bihar, Jagannath Mishra has been acquitted in most cases until now.

 The scam contributed led to the dethronement of RJD regime in Bihar. As of 2017, the trial was completed in 44 cases out of a total of 53 cases. More than 500 accused have been convicted and awarded punishments by various courts. Lalu is currently in Jail serving 4 sentences.

Urea Deal (1996)

deccanchronicle.com

A group of businessmen close to the erstwhile P.V. Narasimha Rao regime, including C.S. Ramakrishnan, MD, National Fertiliser was accused of stealing Rs 133 crore from India’s treasury for the import of two lakh tonnes of urea. However, this order was never delivered.

Stockmarket Scam (2001)

Moneylife.com

The scam wiped off over Rs 1,15,000 crore in the Indian stock markets during March 2001. The main perpetrator was Ketan Parekh, a Pentafour bull. He was arrested in December 2002 and eventually banned from the capital market for a tenure of 14 years.

Tehelka Sting (2001)

SlideShare.com

Tehelka conducted sting operations using spycams to catch army officers and politicians accepting bribes in the Operation Westend. This led to a major turn in investigative journalism in India.

Stamp Paper Scam (2003)

Moneycontrol.com

The Rs 30,000 crore was orchestrated by Abdul Karim Telgi who also implicated top police officers and bureaucrats in the printing of fake securities and stamp papers which were sold at original prices. Telgi died in prison while serving his jail sentence.

Oil-for-Food Scandal (2005)

images99.com

Three weeks after the Union Government announced the setting up of the Justice R.S. Pathak Inquiry Authority to investigate allegations of kickbacks in the Volcker Report, former external affairs minister K. Natwar Singh was dropped from the Cabinet when his name was found in the Volcker Report on the Iraq oil-for-food scam.

Cash-for-votes scandal (2008)

HindustanTimes.com

The cash-for-votes scandal happened when the CPI (M) withdrew support to the then Manmohan Singh Government over a nuclear deal with the USA. BJP members in 2008 waved bundles of cash in parliament alleging the government of trying to give it to them in lieu of their support or abstention in the no-confidence motion vote. The UPA eventually won the confidence vote with 275 in favor and 256 against. Later, BJP offered “documentary evidence” against Ashok Argal, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahaveer Bhagora who had been bribed. Rajya Sabha members Amar Singh and Ahmad Patel were alleged to have played pivotal roles in this bribery scandal since they had supported the confidence vote despite SP’s well-known anti-US stand.

After a SIT probe, Two BJP MPs Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora, Amar Singh and Sudheendra Kulkarni were arrested in this case and convicted later. According to Wikileaks and Nachiketa Kapur, a political aide to Congress leader Satish Sharma, a fund of Rs.50 crore had been formed to pay MPs in lieu of the votes.

Commonwealth scandal (2010)

deccanchronicle.com

During the Commonwealth Games, the government of New Delhi spent a total of Rs. 70,608 crores. Later, it was revealed that massive corruption was involved in most of the CWG contracts. Suresh Kalmadi, Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Commonwealth Games, was the main accused in the corruption cases for awarding illegal contracts to a Swiss firm for Timing-Scoring-Result (TSR) system for the 2010 Commonwealth Games causing a loss of Rs 95 crore to the exchequer.

Eventually, Kalmadi’s membership of the Indian National Congress Party was suspended and he was also sacked from the post of president of the Indian Olympic Association.

2G spectrum scam (2010)

IndiaToday.com

The 2G scam relates to the undervaluation of 2G spectrum frequencies in 2010 and allotted to companies favored by A Raja the then Telecom Minister of India. Companies like Unitech Wireless, Reliance, and Swan Telecom were allocated the spectrum without a proper tender process and according to the CAG report, the shortfall between the money collected by the sale and the money estimated from the sale was found to be Rs. 176,645 crore. A number of corporate executives including Sanjay Chandra of Unitech, Shahid Balwa of D B Realty and Ravi Ruia of Essar group were arrested in this case.

The Supreme Court declared the allotment of the spectrum as “unconstitutional and arbitrary,” and eventually quashed all the 122 licenses issued in 2008. M K Kanimozhi, the daughter of DMK leader M Karunanidhi, was also named as a beneficiary of this scam. They both were arrested and jailed and later acquitted in 2017 for the dearth of credible evidence.

Adarsh Housing Society Scam (2011)

DNAIndia.com

Adarsh Housing Society which is based in Mumbai was the centre-stage of a scam when the construction of a housing complex for “the welfare of serving and retired personnel of the Defence Services” eventually turned to allotment of flats to politicians from different political parties, bureaucrats and other officials who colluded to get themselves flats allotted in this premier property at artificially lowered prices. Three former Chief Ministers of Maharashtra, Sushilkumar Shinde, Vilasrao Deshmukh and Ashok Chavan were revealed as the major beneficiaries of this scam.

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