How Well Do You Know India’s Scams?
Maharashtra’s irrigation scam, which led to the resignation of the state’s deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar this week, is the latest in a long line of rackets to have been unearthed across the country. But how well do you know your Indian scams? Here’s a pop quiz to help you find out (answers at the end of the post).
1. In which scam were rolls of toilet paper bought for Rs3,757 each?
A. National toilet scam.
B. Commonwealth Games scam.
C. Lakshadweep guest house scam.
2. Which well-known Indian journalist was not linked to the 2G spectrum scam?
A. R. Sukumar.
B. Arnab Goswami.
C. Barkha Dutt.
3. What’s the most common way to avoid going to jail if you’ve been accused in a scam?
A. Adopt a disguise until the case is closed.
B. Buy a one-way ticket to a country that has no extradition treaty with India.
C. Hop from hospital to hospital.
4. What’s the best way to run a real estate scam?
A. Acquire land at low rates saying you’re going to build affordable homes and then build luxury flats that you can sell at a premium.
B. Construct a building under the Slum Rehabilitation Development scheme and sell the flats to wealthy people.
C. Acquire land from the state for the ostensible purpose of constructing a building for retired statesmen, say defence personnel, then sell the flats to your fellow politicians.
5. Which is the most expensive scam to have been perpetrated in the last two years?
B. Commonwealth Games scam.
C. 2G spectrum scam.
6. What do the irrigation and wheat scams have in common?
A. The Pawar family.
B. Both involve agriculture.
C. They only affected folks living in rural areas.
7. Who is the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s favourite road construction contractor?
A. Shivajirao Mahadik.
B. R. K. Madhani.
C. A. Pothole.
8. Which scam was the Indian Space Research Organisation involved in?
A. The Space Cadets scam in which aspiring astronauts were charged for space training even though India has no human spaceflight capabilities.
B. The S-band spectrum scam.
C. The space suit racket in which space suits were purchased for ten times their market rate from a manufacturer who turned out to be the ISRO chairman’s brother-in-law.
9. India has a glorious history of scams that has involved everything from cattle feed to stocks. Match these golden oldies with their perpetrators.
Fake stamp paper scam
Commonwealth Games scam
Stock market scam
Abdul Karim Telgi
Sohin Daya, Rafique Tejani, Kishore Signapurkar
Lalu Prasad Yadav
1. B: The Commonwealth Games Organising Committee also bought umbrellas for Rs6,000 each, treadmills for Rs9 lakh each and air conditioners for Rs4 lakh each.
2. B: Arnab Goswami is guilty of many things—talking non-stop on television, constantly interrupting guest speakers to talk non-stop, editorialising non-stop—but his name was never mentioned in relation to the telecom scam.
3. C: Suresh Jain, who has been implicated in the Rs169-crore housing scam in Jalgaon, has avoided judicial custody by moving from a hospital in Jalgaon to Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital and Jaslok Hospital. This is a tried-and-tested tactic that in the recent past has been used by criminals such as late diesel smuggler, Mohammed Ali, and Vikas and Vishal Yadav, who were convicted in the Nitish Katara murder case.
4. C: That’s what the chaps behind the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society scam did. The accused include former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan, former municipal commissioner Jairaj Phatak, former Congress legislator Kanhaiyalal Gidwani and the retired brigadier Madan Mohan Wanchu.
6. A: Where there’s a Pawar, (allegedly) there’s a scam. On Tuesday, September 25, Ajit Pawar resigned over accusations that he was involved in an irrigation scam in Maharashtra. His uncle, Sharad Pawar, has probably lost count of the number of scams he has been associated with. A recent one involved the import of poor quality wheat at inflated prices.
7. B: R. K. Madhani routinely wins road repair tenders by placing suspiciously low bids for jobs such as filling potholes.
8. B: ISRO’s commercial arm, Antrix Corporation, hatched a secret deal with Devas Multimedia to launch a couple of satellites that would give the latter 70 megahertz of S-band spectrum. All for a measly sum of about Rs1,000 crore.
9. In the 1990s, Sohin Daya, the owner of Dawood shoes, Metro Shoes owner Rafique Tejani, and Kishore Signapurkar, the owner of Milano shoes, created fictitious leather cooperatives to get low-interest loans meant for cobblers from government banks.
Exposed in 2000, Abdul Karim Telgi is serving a life sentence for running a racket that involved printing fake stamp papers.
A financial fraud run by Ramalinga Raju, the chairman of Satyam Computer Services, was exposed in 2009.
Lalu Prasad Yadav is one of the politicians accused of fraudulently withdrawing money from state treasuries in the mid-1990s under the pretext of buying fodder.
Suresh Kalmadi was sent to jail on charges of corruption in the organisation of the Commonwealth Games 2010. Kalmadi was the chairman of the Games organising committee.
Harshad Mehta aka Big Bull was one of the chief architects of the stock market scam of the 1990s.Tags: 2G Scam, Ajit Pawar, Barkha Dutt, Commonwealth Games, Indian Space Research Organisation, Irrigation scam, Politics, Scam quiz, Scams, Sharad Pawar, Suresh Kalmadi