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From Harshad Mehta to Vijay Mallya, a look at India’s biggest scammers

Amid the ongoing Adani row, let’s take a look at India’s biggest scams in history.

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Vijay Mallya

Adani Group lost more than Rs 5,29,865 crore in the last week after investors backed out as the US-based Hindenburg Research released their investigative report and accused Gautam Adani of fraud and stock manipulation.

Earlier, there have been multiple financial scams that shook the nation. Amid the ongoing Adani row, let’s take a look at India’s biggest scams in history.

Harshad Mehta

Harshad Mehta, a registered and well-known broker carried out India’s biggest scam in the stock market in 1992. Mehta was accused of manipulating the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) with his partners by taking advantage of the loopholes in the banking system, reports said.

He created a cycle of fraud with banks including the State Bank of India and the National Housing Bank.

Reports also say Mehta conspired with bank employees and got fake bank receipts issued and used those bank receipts to get other banks to lend him money. The amount was further put into the stock market to spike share prices by up to 4,400 per cent and Mehta then sold these shares at a staggering profit. After this, the principal amount was returned to the banks.

Referred to as the Big Bull of Dalal Street, Mehta defrauded the banks of almost Rs 4,000 crore. On February 28, 1992, the tax department carried out a raid and seized several documents and share certificates. On June 4, 1992, the Central Bureau of Investigation conducted a search on the Mehtas.

Reports say the tax return filed by Harshad Mehta for the assessment year 1992-93 was rejected and he was jailed in 1992.

Further, Mehta was convicted by both the Supreme Court and the Bombay High Court and was charged with 74 criminal offences. His legal battles continued till 2001 when he died due to a cardiac arrest in jail at 47.

B Ramalinga Raju

The scam carried out by B Ramalinga Raju is popular as Satyam Scam 2009. The fraud involved corporate governance and fraudulent auditing practices allegedly colluding with the auditors and CAs. Raju’s company Satyam Computer Services Ltd. was accused of misrepresenting its accounts to its stock exchanges, board, regulators, investors, and all other stakeholders.

After the scam came to light, the company admitted that they misrepresented, manipulated and falsified their accounts of over Rs 14,000 crore. Reports say Raju raised the cash to purchase several thousands of acres of land across Andhra Pradesh for a realty marker.

Nirav Modi

Nirav Modi along with his uncle Mehul Choksi pulled out one of the biggest bank frauds in India. The scam took place through Punjab National Bank Brady House Brand and also involved two senior PNB officials with Modi and Choksi.

In 2018, the PNB registered a case with CBI and accused Nirav Modi and his companies of obtaining Letters of Undertaking from the PNB without paying up the margin amount against loans. Additionally, the bank also submitted a fraud report to the Reserve Bank of India.

The same year Nirav Modi left India to evade the law days before a case was filed against him and others involved in the case.

Vijay Mallya

In 2016, the Kingfisher owner fled the country after he was accused of fraud and money laundering. Reports say Mallya owes more than Rs 9,000 crore to multiple banks he took loans from for his personal agenda and to save his Kingfisher airlines.

He took refuge in the United Kingdom and was also declared a fugitive economic offender at the request of the Enforcement Directorate under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.

Mallya left the country on March 2, 2016, after being warned of an arrest. However, he claimed that his trip to London was a part of his business pattern and lifestyle. A warrant was petitioned under Mallya for the crimes under the Money Laundering Prevention Act, of 2022. Following this, he was arrested in London by the Metropolitan Police on an international warrant.

However, he was granted bail worth $650,005,40,87,856 and was asked to hand over his documents, reports said.

2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Lok Sabha Elections: Voter turnout 62.02% in Tamil Nadu till 5pm

The voter turnout in Tamil Nadu stands at 62.02%, while Uttar Pradesh records a turnout of 57.5%. Meanwhile, in West Bengal, voter participation surges to 77.5% as of 5 pm.

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The Lok Sabha elections 2024 began today, marking the onset of the world’s largest electoral event. Voting ended in all 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu with a total voter turnout of 62.02%. State BJP chief and Coimbatore Lok Sabha constituency candidate K Annamalai said, they were getting complaints from a large number of voters that their names were missing from the voters’ list.

This incident happened in many places. Annamalai said they are demanding re-poll in places where the names of a large number of voters were missing.He said they had a doubt that there was some political interference because the names of a large number of BJP caders were missing from the voters list.

 The voters in South Chennai showed lukewarm interest to participate in the election process and had a total voter turnout of 57.04% till 5pm. Although the overall percentage is poor, some areas like Thiruvanmiyur witnessed brisk polling from 7am onwards. Elderly, middle aged and young voters turned up and it was a family outing for many as they cast their vote.

Corporation volunteers assisted senior citizens with wheelchairs and guided them to their respective polling booths. The hot weather also had an impact on the polling as it reduced the voter turnout as many booths in the corporation school in MGR Nagar were seen deserted around noon. Senior citizens showed courage as they reached the polling booths in private vehicles to exercise their franchise.

Most of the polling booths had shamianas for voters so that they could wait in a queue. Some people even found refuge in the nearby buildings to save themselves from the scorching heat. The polling officials gave instructions to the voters to keep their phones switched off while they exercised their franchise. The security personnel at the polling booth also regulated traffic outside the polling booth in MGR Nagar.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Deserted by key supporters, the Kamal Nath story looks set to wind to an end in Chhindwara

Nath’s closest allies in his near 50-year reign—Deepak Saxena and Kamlesh Shah—have deserted him. His local team of corporators has also decided to jump ship leaving a gaping hole in Nath’s campaign trail.

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By Neeraj Mishra

The Congress has lost Chhindwara only once since Independence when the wily Sunderlal Patwa was sent there by Atal Bihari Vajpayee to test Kamal Nath’s hold on the constituency. Patwa won the 1997 by-election by a slim margin in the backdrop of Nath having forced his wife to first contest and later vacate the seat for him. Nath, however, returned to his winning ways the very next year and has won the seat nine times.

It seems possible that Chhindwara, the lone surviving Congress seat, will be lost again this time and may be forever. A day ahead of polling, the town was drowned in saffron. Not so much the effect of vigorous campaigning by Vivek Sahu of the BJP but the Ram Navami festival which brought out saffron flags on every rooftop.  The effect is likely to last since the polling is today. At 77, Nath is unlikely to contest another election here and his son Nakul seems like a pale shadow of his father unable to even make a forceful speech. The days of running Chhindwara from Shikarpur kothi are gone.

Nath’s closest allies in his near 50-year reign—Deepak Saxena and Kamlesh Shah—have deserted him. His local team of corporators has also decided to jump ship leaving a gaping hole in Nath’s campaign trail. Nakul had won by a margin of 37,000 votes in 2019 and the biggest lead had come from Kamlesh’s Amarwada Assembly segment. With Saxena in control of Chhindwara and forced to show his strength in his new party, it is highly likely that Nakul will not be depending on these segments. Instead, the Congress campaign was focused on Pandhurna, Parasia and Chaurai.

Amit Shah was in the region a couple of days ago and warned all BJP workers—old and new—against lethargy. His message was clear, the BJP wants all 29 seats this time. Cabinet Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya is camped here and using all his political acumen for the desired results. One such tactic was to raid the Shikarpur Kothi of Kamal Nath for his assistant Miglani who handles almost everything for him. With Miglani temporarily neutralised, BJP is best placed to repeat its win in Chhindwara in 1997.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Lok Sabha Elections 2024:  Nearly 40% voter turnout till 1pm

Chennai recorded an average voter turnout of 34% as of 1 pm on Friday. According data released by the Election Commission of India, Chennai (North) recorded 35%, Chennai (Central) recorded 32.3% and Chennai (South) recorded 34%.

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The first phase of voting for the 18th Lok Sabha elections started taking place in 21 states and Union territories on Friday. Nearly 40% voter turnout was recorded till 1pm across the states. Seats in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu, Sikkim, Uttar Pradesh, Tripura, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep and Puducherry go to elections on Friday.

There has been a substantial increase in the voter turnout charts across the Northeast states, with Tripura leading at 53.04% until 1 pm, as per the data released by the Election Commission of India. Other northeast states like Manipur (46.92%) and Meghalaya (48.91%) are also witnessing high voter turnout. After Tripura, West Bengal is experiencing a high voter turnout of 50.96%.

Chennai recorded an average voter turnout of 34% as of 1 pm on Friday. According data released by the Election Commission of India, Chennai (North) recorded 35%, Chennai (Central) recorded 32.3% and Chennai (South) recorded 34%.

Over 33% voter turnout was recorded in the first 6 hours of voting on Friday in 12 parliamentary constituencies of Rajasthan. According to the Election Commission, voting started at 7 am amid tight security arrangements and 33.73 % voting took place till 1 pm. The highest voter turnout of 40.72 % was recorded in the Ganganagar Lok Sabha seat while Karauli-Dholpur saw the lowest turnout of 28.32 %. Jaipur recorded a poll percentage of 39.35 %.

Over 37 % voter turnout was recorded till 1 pm in the Lok Sabha election being held for five parliamentary constituencies in Uttarakhand on Friday. Elections began at 7 am and the five constituencies recorded an overall poll percentage of 37.33 % up to 1 pm. The Nainital-Udham Singh Nagar seat recorded the highest turnout of 40.46 %, followed by Haridwar with 39.41%, Pauri Garhwal with 36.60 %, Tehri Garhwal with 35.29 % and Almora with 32.29 %.

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