Agusta Westland helicopter deal, 2013
UPA-1 accused of favouring contract to Italian company Finmeccanica for VVIP helicopters; bribes allegedly paid to government and military officials
Accused: Middlemen, politicians and military officials
Arrest: IAF chief SP Tyagi, his brother, and lawyer allegedly involved in the money transfer
Status: One chargesheet; middleman Christian Michel extradited to India. Court clears all suspects in Italy
2G Spectrum auction, 2008
UPA-1 telecom minister, public officials and corporates accused of granting 2G Spectrum licences at under-valued rates; exchange of kickbacks alleged
Accused: A. Raja, Kanimozhi and more
Arrest: Raja, Kanimozhi and corporate officials
Status: All accused acquitted; appeals pending
FIPB clearances, UPA-1 rule
Aircel Maxis (2011) Offshoot of 2G case, where telecom minister Dayanadhi Maran is accused of forcing Aircel to sell to Maxis; finance minister P. Chidambaram accused of stalling clearance till company shares given to his son
Status: Marans discharged, PC and son Karti C. charged; ED notice to Maxis owner in Malaysia
INX media (2010) Money-laundering through FDI. PC called for questioning; son Karti accused of bribery
Chit fund, West Bengal, 2013
Rs 2,500-crore Saradha and Rs 17,000-crore Rose Valley scams. Money from depositors used to buy shares and assets at inflated values to skim cash
Arrest: Fund owners, including Sudipto Sen of Saradha; TMC parliamenterians; journalist Suman Chattopadhyay
Status: Chargesheets filed by CBI; probe and trial pending
Coal block allocation, 2012
Officials skipped tendering process and allocated coal blocks across the country; Supreme Court cancelled them
Accused: Former chief ministers, Union ministers and senior bureaucrats
Arrest: Multiple, including a fixer
Status: Jharkhand ex-CM Madhu Koda convicted of a Rs 3,500-crore mining scam; probe in other cases
Adarsh Housing Society, Mumbai, 2012
Top retired military officers allegedly manipulated housing for war widows and veterans. Then CM Ashok Chavan quit but cleared by court
Accused:Army officers, state officials, building promoters
Arrest: Eight, including former army generals
Tatra military trucks, 2012
A former liutenant general had allegedly offered then chief of army staff, General V.K. Singh, Rs 14 crore to buy more trucks for the military than required. Allegations emerged that the defence ministry and BEML officials skimmed bribes from inflated payments.
Arrested: Lt Gen. (retired) Tejinder Singh
Status: Closure report filed in acquisition case
NRHM, Uttar Pradesh, 2012
Rs 1,000 crore pilfered from the National Rural Health Mission, social welfare scheme. This came to light after two chief medical officers were murdered. Public outrage over the killings forced UP ministers B.S. Kushwaha and A.K. Mishra to resign.
Accused: Government officials and BSP state ministers
Status: Multiple chargesheets filed
Kingfisher Airlines bank loan default, 2012
Liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s airline failed to repay loans—about Rs 6,000 crore—taken from a clutch of public sector banks. Mallya went to London in 2016 when the loan default turned into a financial scandal.
Accused: Bank officials, Mallya, many more
Arrest: Bank officials
Status: Prosecution underway; government has won the first round in the Mallya extradition case in the UK
ISRO—Devas/Antrix deal, 2005
The CBI had alleged a Rs 580-crore loss to exchequer following then ISRO chief Madhavan Nair and other officials’ decision to give the S-band spectrum to Devas Multimedia
Accused: Nair and other officials
Status: Trial on; Nair joined BJP in Kerala this year.
Vyapam, Madhya Pradesh
One of India’s biggest scams that involved paying bribes to get government jobs and admissions to medical colleges. Several people have been found dead/killed while the case is still pending.
Accused: MP govt officials, candidates, middlemen
Arrested: low-level officials
Current status: Chargesheets filed; A few students and middlemen convicted; prosecution ongoing in most cases
PNB banking scam
Diamantaire Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi are accused of fraudulently withdrawing Rs 13,600-crore from Punjab National Bank through letters of undertaking. Modi ran away after the scandal erupted. The government responded with a new law against economic offenders, while the ED and the CBI are trying hard to get them back.
Accused: Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi, PNB officials and people from the jewellers’ firms
Arrest: Choksi aide; PNB officials
Status: Extradition of Modi awaited; probe on; ED chargesheet filed
Not a long time ago, the 2G Spectrum allocation case was seen by many as the mother of all scams in India; the flagship of institutionalised corruption under the Congress-led UPA government, the BJP would tell us. In December 2017, a special court acquitted all accused, including A Raja, the telecom minister during UPA-1. The special judge ruled tha there was no evidence against the accused despite the Enforcement Directorate insisting there was a clear money trail. The ED and CBI have appealed in the Delhi High Court while A Raja has released his memoirs.
Nearly five years after riding to power, PM Narendra Modi’s vow to punish the “corrupt” appears to have run out of steam. Many high-profile cases of alleged corruption, often cited by Modi in the run-up to the 2014 polls, too are stalled in different stages. Out of 15-odd major cases, there have been convictions in some cases of the coal block allocation scam, in one of which former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda was sentenced to three years in jail, though suspended later. (See...