1, Jeep Purchase (1948) :- Free India's corruption graph begins. V. K. Krishna Menon, then the Indian high commissioner to Britain, bypassed protocol to sign a deal worth Rs 80 lakh with a foreign firm for the purchase of army jeeps. The case was closed in 1955 and soon after Menon joined the Nehru cabinet.
2, Cycle Imports (1951) :- S.A. Venkataraman, then the secretary, ministry of commerce and industry, was jailed for accepting a bribe in lieu of granting a cycle import quota to a company.
3, BHU Funds (1956) :- In one of the first instances of corruption in educational institutions, Benaras Hindu University officials were accused of misappropriation of funds worth Rs 50 lakh.
4, MUNDHRA SCANDAL (1957):- It was the media that first hinted there might be a scam involving the sale of shares to LIC, Feroz Gandhi sources the confidential correspondence between the then Finance Minister T.T. Krishnamachari and his principal finance secretary, and raised a question in Parliament on the sale of 'fraudulent' shares to LIC by a Calcutta-based Marwari businessman named Haridas Mundhra. The then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, set up a one-man commission headed by Justice M.C.Chagla to investigate the matter when it becomes evident that there was a prima facie case. Chagla concluded that Mundhra had sold fictitious shares to LIC, thereby defrauding the insurance behemoth to the tune of Rs. 1.25 crore. Mundhra was sentenced to 22 years in prison. The scam also forced the resignation of T.T.Krishnamachari.
6, Teja Loans (1960):- Shipping magnate Jayant Dharma Teja took loans worth Rs 22 crore to establish the Jayanti Shipping Company. In 1960, the authorities discovered that he was actually siphoning off money to his own account, after which Teja fled the country.
7, Kairon Scam (1963):- Pratap Singh Kairon became the first Indian chief minister to be accused of abusing his power for his own benefit and that of his sons and relatives. He quit a year later.
8, Patnaik's Own Goal (1965) :- Orissa Chief Minister Biju Patnaik was forced to resign after it was discovered that he had favoured his privately-held company Kalinga Tubes in awarding a government contract.
9, Maruti Scandal (1974) :- Well before the company was set up, former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's name came up in the first Maruti scandal, where her son Sanjay Gandhi was favoured with a license to make passenger cars.
10, Solanki Exposé (1992) :- At the World Economic Forum, Madhavsinh Solanki, then the external affairs minister, slipped a letter to his Swiss counterpart asking their government to stop the probe into the Bofors kickbacks. Solanki resigned when India Today broke the story.
11, Kuo Oil Deal (1976):- The Indian Oil Corporation signed an Rs 2.2-crore oil contract with a non-existent firm in Hong Kong and a kickback was given. The petroleum and chemicals minister was directed to make the purchase.
12, Antulay Trust (1981) :- With the exposure of this scandal concerning A.R. Antulay, then the chief minister of Maharashtra, The Indian Express was reborn. Antulay had garnered Rs 30 crore from businesses dependent on state resources like cement and kept the money in a private trust.
13, HDW Commissions (1987) :- HDW, the German submarine maker, was blacklisted after allegations that commissions worth Rs 20 crore had been paid. In 2005, the case was finally closed, in HDW's favour.
14, Bofors Pay-Off (1987) :- A Swedish firm was accused of paying Rs 64 crore to Indian bigwigs, including Rajiv Gandhi, then the prime minister, to secure the purchase of the Bofors gun.
15, St Kitts Forgery (1989) :- An attempt was made to sully V.P. Singh's Mr Clean image by forging documents to allege that he was a beneficiary of his son Ajeya Singh's account in the First Trust Corp. at St Kitts, with a deposit of $21 million.
16, Airbus Scandal (1990) :- Indian Airlines's (IA) signing of the Rs 2,000-crore deal with Airbus instead of Boeing caused a furore following the crash of an A-320. New planes were grounded, causing IA a weekly loss of Rs 2.5 crore.
17, Securities Scam (1992) :- Harshad Mehta manipulated banks to siphon off money and invested the funds in the stock market, leading to a crash. The loss: Rs 5,000 crore.
18, Indian Bank Rip-off (1992) :- Aided by M. Gopalakrishnan, then the chairman of the Indian Bank, borrowers-mostly small corporates and exporters from the south-were lent a total of over Rs 1,300 crore, which they never paid back.
19, Sugar Import (1994) :- As food minister, Kalpnath Rai presided over the import of sugar at a price higher than that of the market, causing a loss of Rs 650 crore to the exchequer. He resigned following the allegations.
20, MS SHOES SCAM (1994) :- Anyone who war old enough in 1994 to read will remember the advertisements- tens of them intriguingly headlined: 'Who is Pawan Sachdeva?' For the record, it was the peak of the public issued-led advertising boom and the ads were created by the Delhi branch of Rediffusion. Sachdeva, the promoter of MS Shoes, allegedly used company funds to buy shares (of his own company) and rig prices, prior to a public issue. He is alleged to have colluded with officials in the Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and SBI Caps, which lead-managed the issue, to dupe the public into investing in his Rs. 699-crore public-***-rights issue. Sachdeva was later acquitted
21, JMM Bribes (1995) :- Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader Shailendra Mahato testified that he and three party members received bribes of Rs 30 lakh to bail out the P.V. Narasimha Rao government in the 1993 no-confidence motion.
22, In a Pickle (1996) :- Pickle baron Lakhubhai Pathak raised a stink when he accused former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao and godman Chandraswami of accepting a bribe of Rs 10 lakh from him for securing a paper pulp contract.
23, Telecom Scam (1996) :- Former minister of state for communication Sukh Ram was accused of causing a loss of Rs 1.6 crore to the exchequer by favouring a Hyderabad- based private firm in the purchase of telecom equipment. He, along with two others, was convicted in 2002.
24, Fodder Scam (1996) :- The accountant general's concerns about the withdrawal of excess funds by Bihar's animal husbandry department unveiled a Rs 950-crore scam involving Lalu Prasad Yadav, then the state chief minister. He resigned a year later.
25, Urea Deal (1996) :- C.S. Ramakrishnan, MD, National Fertiliser, and a group of businessmen close to the P.V. Narasimha Rao regime fleeced the government and took Rs 133 crore from the import of two lakh tonne of urea, which was never delivered.
26, Hawala Diaries (1996) :- The scandal surfaced following CBI raids on hawala operators in Delhi in 1991. But it was S.K. Jain's diaries that had heads rolling.
27, CRB SCAM (1997) :- Another scam forged by greed and discovered through accident. Chain Roop Bhansali, a smart-talking entrepreneur, created a pyramid financial empire based on high-cost financing. At its peak, his Rs. 1,000-crore financial conglomerate had in its ranks a mutual fund, a financial services company into fixed deposits, and a merchant bank. That Bhansali knew how to work the system became evident when he also managed to secure a provisional banking license. Then his luck ran out. An executive in the State Bank of India Inadvertently discovered that some interest warrants issued by Bhansali were not backed by cash. The bubble finally burst in May 1997, but by that time investors had lost over Rs. 1,000 crore. This was among the first retail scams in India and it was played out, in smaller avatars, across the country-especially in the South where financial services companies promised returns in excess of 20 per cent and decamped with the principal. Bhansali was arrested for a few weeks and released later on bail.
28, MEHTA'S SECOND COMING (1998) :- The Big Bull returned to the bourses. This time, he allegedly colluded with the promoters of BPL, Videocon International, and Sterile Industries to rig the share prices of these companies. The inevitable collapse happened sooner than planned, Harshad Mehta orchestrated a cover-up operation that included a high=jinks effort by officials of Bombay Stock Exchange to (illegally ) open the trading system in the middle of the night to set things right, but the damage had been done. SEBI finally passed its ruling on the scam in 2001, banning the three companies concerned from tapping the market-BPL, for two years. Mehta was debarred for life form dealing in Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) in October 2001
29, VANISHING COMPANIES SCAM (1998) :- A passing remark heard by then Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram resulted in a furore over what was badly-kept secret on Dalal street. Chidambaram was told that hundreds of companies had disappeared after raising moneys form the public. An informal scrutiny revealed that perhaps over 600 companies were missing. Chidambaram ordered a probe by SEBI. The SEBI probe conducted in May 1998 revealed that while many companies are not traded on the bourses at least 80 companies that had rises Rs.330.78 crore were simply missing. Later that year, the Department of Company Affairs (DCA) was asked to probe and penalize these companies. DCA still investigating. Investigations continue to this day.
30, PLANTATION COMPANIES SCAM (1999) :- It was as innovative a swindle as any effected in the world. Savvy entrepreneurs convinced gullible investors that given the right irrigation and fertilizer inputs, teak, strawberries, and anything else that could be grown, would grow anywhere in the country. The promoters could afford to collect money from investors and not worry about retribution (or returns, for that matter). For, plantation companies fell under the purview of neither SEBI nor Reserve Bank of India. Indeed, they didn't even come under the scope of the Department decided to change things in 1999, enough investors had been gulled: 653 companies, between them, had raised Rs. 2,563 crore from investors. To date, not many investors have got their principals back, just another affirmation of the old saying about money not growing on trees.
31, Match Fixing (2000) :- Mohammed Azharuddin, till then India's cricket captain, was accused of match-fixing. He and Ajay Sharma were banned from playing, while Ajay Jadeja and Manoj Prabhakar were suspended for five years.
32, KETAN PAREKH SCAM (2001) :- Ketan Parekh's modus operandi wasn't very different from Harshad Mehta's. If Mehta used banker's receipts, then Parekh used pay orders to ramp up the prices of his favourite scrips (the K-10). Apart from money form the banking system Parekh also rerouted money from corporated like HFCL (Rs. 425 crore), and Zee (Rs. 340 crore) to good effect. He was caught when pay-orders issued by Madhavpura Mercantile Cooperative Bank bounced. Although the total amount involved in the scam was just Rs. 137 crore, the impact was far greater.
Apparently, when a bear cartel sensed Parekh was in trouble, it stepped in and leveraged a dip in the NASDAQ to bear down stock prices. The resultant slump in the markets happened soon after Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha presented what he considered his best budget ever. Under pressure from the government, SEBI investigated the scam and heads began to roll. Among them: the entire management team of BSE, including its president Anand Rathi, CSFB, First Global, and, in an indirect connection, P.S.Subramanyam, the Chairman of UTL Evidently, for the 18 months that PSS was Chairman of UTI, the Trust had mirrored the actions of the bull cartel. The result? When the market tanked, so did the NAV of its holy cow, the US-64.
33, Tehelka Sting (2001) :- Tehelka, an online news portal, used spycams to catch army officers and politicians accepting bribes, in their sting operation called Operation Westend. Investigative journalism turned another corner in the country.
34, Stockmarket Scam (2001) :- The mayhem that wiped off over Rs 1,15,000 crore in the markets in March 2001 was masterminded by the Pentafour bull Ketan Parekh. He was arrested in December 2002 and banned from acccessing the capital market for 14 years.
35, Home Trade Scam (2002) :- Under the pretext of gilt trading, Rs 600 crore was swindled from over 25 cooperative banks in Maharashtra and Gujarat by a Navi Mumbai-based brokerage firm Home Trade. Sanjay Agarwal, CEO of the firm, was arrested in May 2002.
36, Stamp Paper Scam (2003) :- The sheer magnitude of the racket was shocking-it caused a loss of Rs 30,000 crore to the exchequer. Disclosures of the mastermind behind it, Abdul Karim Telgi, implicated top police officers and bureaucrats.
37, Oil-for-Food Scandal (2005) :- K. Natwar Singh was unceremoniously dropped from the Cabinet when his name surfaced in the Volcker Report on the Iraq oil-for-food scam.