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20 Political Scams That Shamed India

Fajar Hakim 6 years ago 0

India has been rocked by a spate of scams in the recent past. Here is an overview of some of the most infamous scams that have hit the country over the years. Tell us which of these scams has caused the most damage to the country?

2013 Chopper scam:

Better known as Choppergate, the scam involves several politicians and defence officers, who have been accused of having accepted bribes from AugustaWestland to clear a contract to supply 12 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters to India.

India had signed a contract to purchase 12 AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters in February 2010. The Rs3600 crore-scam came to light on February 12, 2013, when  Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi was arrested by Italian authorities for  bribes allegedly paid to secure the sale of 12 helicopters to India.

Finmeccanica is the parent company of AgustaWestland.

Indian Defence Minister AK Antony ordered a CBI probe into the contract the very next day. 

Investigations revealed that three persons related to the then Air Force chief Shashi Tyagi had bended the rules in the tender to help AgustaWestland secure the contract.

On March 13, 2013, the CBI had filed an FIR against the former IAF chief and 12 others for alleged cheating and criminal conspiracy in the Rs3600 crore VVIP helicopter deal.

Tyagi is first chief of the Indian Air Force to be named in a corruption or criminal case by the CBI.

The FIR also named brother of former Union minister Santosh Bagrodia, Satish Bagrodia and Pratap Aggarwal, Chairman and Managing Director of IDS Infotech in the case.

According to Reuters, the investigation into the Italian firm Finmeccanica, which started more than a year ago, is one of a series of corruption scandals in defence dealmaking in India.

2012 Coal block allocation scam:

http://static.dnaindia.com/images/cache/1881535.jpgDubbed as Coalgate by the media, the scam once again exposed corruption in the  higher echelons of power in the country. The scandal involves allocation of the country's coal deposits to public and private sector companies by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The office of Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), in a draft report in March 2012, accused the government of allocating coal blocks in an arbitrary manner during the period 2004–2009, causing a loss of Rs1.86 lakh crore.

Initially the loss was pegged at over Rs10 lakh crore, but the CAG revised it to  Rs1.86 lakh crore after leaving out PSUs from its final report.

The BJP lodged a complaint regarding the matter which led to a CBI probe into the scam and demanded Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's resignation.

However, Singh read a statement in the Parliament on 27 August 2012 refuting the CAG's report.

The scandal caused a lot of furor both inside and outside the Parliament due to its magnitude. The scandal got murkier when 43 files containing crucial information on how the coal fields were allocated to private firms went missing.

Dr Manmohan Singh was in charge of the Coal Ministry between 2006 and 2009. Some of the files missing contain information on allocations of coal fields during this period. 

After a lot of hammering by the Opposition, all except seven files were traced and sent to the CBI to further the probe. 

2013 Railgate:

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On May 3, 2013, CBI arrested  former Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal's nephew, Vijay Singla, from Chandigarh for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs90 lakh from Narayana Rao Manjunath and Sandeep Goyal on behalf of Mahesh Kumar, a member of the Indian Railway Board, in exchange of getting a higher ranking position on the Railway Board.

Suspecting Bansal's involvement in the scandal, the CBI started scrutinising all recruitments, transfers, postings and promotions since October 28, 2012, the day Bansal took charge of the ministry.

The probe revealed that during Bansal's term as finance minister in 2007, borrowings of Theon, a company owned by his wife and sons, from Canara Bank had gone up to Rs23 crore from Rs7 crore.

As Congress higher-ups started feeling the heat of the scam, party president Sonia Gandhi  said that "the party would not "spare anybody mired in corruption".

Following Gandhi's statement, Bansal was forced to step down on May 10, 2013. His nephew Singla and Mahesh Kumar were arrested after the investigating agency traced them with the help of  telephonic conversations between the two. 

2011 Tatra truck scam:

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