TOP 10 Biggest Indian Scams Of All Times

Posted by Nishant Garg | The Noob Diary
For many years now, we all have witnessed huge political and financial scams/frauds in our country involving money which amounts to multi-million dollars. And these are just the ones which have been exposed, let’s not even get into those which are yet to be uncovered.
With so much capital in hand, one can’t help but wonder would India still have been a developing country had this money been used on what it was actually meant to be spent on.
Given below is the list of TOP 10 biggest scams which have plagued our country in the recent past.
What can be said that hasn’t been said before, this is THE mother of all scams. The Supreme Court recently said the spectrum scam has put ‘all other scams to shame’. The incident saw former telecom minister A Raja being forced to resign after the CAG indicted him in the 2G spectrum scam that resulted in a loss of about 176,000 core to the national exchequer. The scandal revolves around the alleged irregularities in allotting wireless radio spectrum and licences by the telecom ministry to private operators — some of whom were ineligible. Licences were given and spectrum allocation was done at an extremely low price (2001 prices in the year 2008) leading to a gargantuan loss to the national coffers.

Yes, of course, how could the scamsters miss the much publicized and anticipated Common Wealth Games hosted by India in 2010. Even before the long awaited sporting bonanza could see the light of the day, the grand event was soaked in the allegations of corruption. Estimated to be involving money worth close to 35,000 crore, the scam included discrepancies like payment to non-existent parties, will-ful delays in execution of contracts, over-inflated price and bungling in purchase of equipment through tendering – and misappropriation of funds. The accused, former chairman of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, Suresh Kalmadi, was charged and jailed later by CBI in april 2011


Abdul Karim Telgi, the name is still etched boldly in the memory of the whole of India. The con artist, who shook the entire nation with his mastered art of forgery in printing duplicate stamp papers. The scam spanned across 12 states and estimated to the amount of 20,000 crore plus. With support from numerous Government Departments this scam one of the first few which brought to light the shameful corrupt practices of the politicians and the beaurocrats alike.

Satyam scam is the biggest fraud in the Indian corporate industry till date, amounting to 14,000 crore. The disgraced former chairman, Ramalinga Raju is accused of fudging the books of accounts for several years and inflating revenues and profit figures of Satyam. His efforts to fill the “fictitious assets with real ones” through Maytas acquisition failed, after which he decided to confess the crime. India’s fourth largest IT company lost a staggering Rs 10,000 crore (Rs 100 billion) in market capitalisation as investors reacted sharply and dumped shares, pushing down the scrip by 78 per cent to Rs 39.95 on the Bombay Stock Exchange in a single day.

Never before has a scam been enjoyed and celebrated by such a massive proportion of Indian people. A lot of the IPL activity has been alleged to be unethical, unlawful and sometimes illegal. Politicians and others are said to be laundering black money via Mauritius and other tax havens which hide investors’ identities through shell companies and false names. There are suggestions that matches and bids for team franchises have been fixed, and that there have been bribes, tax evasion, illegal betting, and breaches of foreign investment rules. At the centre of the growth, and the controversy, was Lalit Modi, creator and chairman of the IPL and former vice president of the highly politicised Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).


The Bofors scandal is known as the hallmark of Indian corruption. In the 1980s,the then PM Rajiv Gandhi and several others including a powerful NRI family named the Hindujas, were accused of receiving kickbacks from Bofors AB for winning a bid to supply India’s 155 mm field howitzer. The Swedish State Radio had broadcast a startling report about an undercover operation carried out by Bofors, Sweden’s biggest arms manufacturer, whereby $16 million were allegedly paid to members of PM Rajiv Gandhi’s Congress.

Popularly known as the Big Bull, Harshad Mehta took advantages of the loopholes in the banking system and triggered a rise in the Bombay Stock Exchange in the year 1992 by trading in shares at a premium across many segments. He and his associates diverted funds to the tune of about Rs 5,000 crore (Rs 50 billion) from the banks to stockbrokers between April 1991 to May 1992. He was later charged with 72 criminal offences.


In1995 another Scam of magnanimous proportions was exposed. Sohin Daya of Dawood Shoes, Rafique Tejani of Metro Shoes, and Kishore Signapurkar of Milano Shoes were arrested in this multi-crore shoes scam on the charges of availing loans of crores of rupees on behalf of fictitious leather co-operative societies and taking advantage of these through various schemes. Officials of various state banks were also charge sheeted.


More commonly known as the “Chara Ghotala”, this scam was worth a whooping 900 core and involved the infamous and forever popular Bihar politician Lalu Prasad Yadav. The scam involved fabrication of “vast herds of fictitious livestock” for which fodder, medicine and animal husbandry equipment was supposedly procured.

Yet another widely publicized bribery scandal which came out in 1996. It involved payments to the tune of $18 milion received by Country’s leading politicians through hawala brokers. The list of accused included the then leader of the opposition Lal Krishna Advani. The masses were left shocked as all the major political players were being accused of having accepted bribes and also alleged connections about payments being channelled to Hizbul Mujahideen militants in Kashmir.

So this concludes the list of TOP 10 biggest Indian scams of all times. According to the compilation, the total amount of money involved in various scams over the last 12 years alone, since 1992, is estimated to be over Rs 80 lakh crore (Rs 80 trillion) or $1.80 trillion!
To many people abroad, India is seen sentimentally as Mahatma Gandhi’s country of khadi cloth, good ethics, and care for the poor. To some it is an economic miracle and a future super power, while to others it is an unkind cruel place of caste, ethnic and rich-poor divisions and violence. Above all however, and not far below the surface, India is a maze of unethical, unlawful and illegal swindles that link most politicians, many bureaucrats, and a large number of businessmen and others.
Do let us know your views and opinions about the above mentioned scams which have had a severe impact on or growth as a nation as well as image across the globe. Feel free to mention any other scam that could have been included in the list.

(Nishant Garg is an Engineering student, voracious reader, self-proclaimed writer, avid blogger, staunch Roger Federer fan, 'not a' foodie and on some rare occasions a programming enthusiast :) Read Nishant's personal musings on his blog Jack & Spades)
What we lost to India’s biggest scams
Deepak Shenoy
As India immerses itself into removing corruption, it's important to understand what the past scams cost us. But talking in mere amounts isn't fruitful. After all, does 55,000 crore rupees sound bad? How much worse is it than a mere 50,000 crores? (Answer: 1,000 kilometers of highway worse, or the stretch from Bangalore to Mumbai)
The biggest scam that unfortunately doesn't get classified as one is that food enough to feed 100 million people rots in government warehouses.  For the rest, we have for you an infographic that puts the amounts in context, how much we could have done. For past scams we have adjusted the amount for inflation to reflect an equivalent in 2011 — the Rs. 5,000 crore Harshad Mehta Scam for instance is worth Rs. 15,000 cr. today.
Here's all that we could have done with the money lost to some of the biggest scams in India.

Enough food to feed 100 million people rots away

Chandigarh: The wheat lies in the sun. Lakhs of bags of it. The stamp on the jute bags says "2010-2011." This batch of wheat is produced from a crop that's just three months old.  It's rotting away.
"This is the first time wheat has been stored here in the open. Earlier they stored it in a pucca plinth. Now there are more than 1.5 lakh bags out here," says the watchman, at Thol Storage in Haryana.
The wheat should be stored at warehouses owned by the government. But year after year, the warehouses in Punjab and Haryana run out of room. There is no silver lining to this problem of excess, mainly because the government has persistently ignored it. This year, heavy rain and water logging mean that the grain is rotting faster than usual.  The plastic sheets thrown carelessly around the bags of wheat are totemic of the sort of systematic carelessness that a desperately poor and hungry nation is cursed with.
In March, NDTV travelled to warehouses scattered in Sirhind, Anandpur Sahib, Ludhiana, Sangrur. The stench rose sharp and thick from the grain rotting outside. There were rats and snakes crawling among the grain. Embarrassed by the profuse evidence of its lack of concern and initiative, the government has now floated tenders, looking for new warehouses both in Punjab and Haryana that can house an additional 70 lakh metric tons of wheat.
For now, the facts are damning. Currently, in Punjab and Haryana, by official accounts, 100 lakh metric tons of grain has been stored in the open. According to an estimate, 10 per cent of this is rotting. That's enough to feed 100 million people for three months.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court made its stand clear to Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, stating that earlier this month, when it asked him to ensure excess grain is given to poor people, it wasn't offering a suggestion. Find a way to implement the order, the judges said.
Mr Pawar told an angry Parliament hours later that he welcomed suggestions from them on how to distribute grain to poor families.
A solution to distribute the grain - perhaps through ration shops - cannot come soon enough. In Madhya Pradesh, six out of every ten children suffer from diseases caused by hunger or malnutrition.
(Source: sinlung)