Major Scandals of 2011As eventful as the year 2011 was it also saw a lot of scandals. The scams of the year wereboth shocking and an eye opener. The major scandals of the year were- 2G Spectrum scam: The 2G spectrum scamwhich has been dragged since last year saw some progress, Andimuthu Raja, the TelecomMinister, was arrested and Retired bureaucrat, Siddartha Behura Telecom Secretary in 2008had his license taken away. The scam involved the officials of the Indian Governmentillegally under pricing the mobile network companies for licenses of frequency allocation.This illegal manipulation of the spectrum allocation was in favor of a few selectedcompanies. According to the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General the loss to theexchequer due to under charging of 2G spectrum was 176,379 crore (US$39.16 billion).The 2G license was issued in 2008 but the scam was brought to public notice when theSupreme Court of India took Subramaniam Swamys complaints on record. The scam had alot of politicians and bureaucrats involved. The other involved parties were corporations whowere buying the licenses and media professionals who mediated between the politicians andthe corporations.
2010 Commonwealth games scam: A majorscam hit the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and which continued into this year. There wereallegations being made that a substantial sum of money was transferred to a little known U.K.company from the Games Organizing Committee about which the British government raisedquestions. The Commonwealth Games received severe criticisms by several prominent Indianpoliticians and social activists because billions of dollars had been spent on the sportingevent. The major problems highlighted were that serious corruption of officials of the GamesOrganizing Committee was seen, there were delays in the construction of main Gamesvenues, possibility of a terrorist attack and infrastructural compromise and exceptionally poorticket sales before the event were also noted. The Net Worth of the scam was Rs 36,000crores. ISRO spectrum scam: Indian Space ResearchOrganization was found in a secret deal to launch two customer-specific satellites and giveaway 70 MHz of high-value S-band for an unregulated commercial exploitation at ascandalously low price of just over Rs 1000 crore to a private, Bangalore based companycalled Devas Multimedia Private Limited. The scam would cost the exchequer a gigantic lossof two lakh crore. ISRO managed to hide the deal for six long years until the Comptrollerand Auditor General (CAG) called for the files following which, the media then scooped itout into public space, forcing ISRO and the Prime Ministers Office scuttle for anexplanation.
Goa mining scam: Another shocking scandalthat the country saw was the Goa mining scam. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) raised theissue of illegal mining against the ruling Congress-led government. Over the last five yearsthe loss caused to the exchequer was of 25,000 crore. It was seen that Goa accounts for over60 per cent of the countrys iron ore exports, earning 20, 000 crore annually by way offoreign exchange. The reports by Hinduatan Times shows that 54 million tonne of iron orewere exported this year, out of which 30 million tonne was legal, and the rest — more than20 million tonne — illegal. Indian black money in Swiss Banks: Anotherbig blow in the face of the country was the Indian black money scam. WikiLeaks founderJulian Assange told a TV channel "Yes, there are Indian names in the data that we havealready published or are going to publish. I cant remember specifically whether there areIndian names in the coming publication. But I have read Indian names." The black moneywas mostly a source from illegal share in stock market, drug deal, and fake project. It wasnoted that most amount of the black money in the Swiss Bank was mainly from India.Reports also suggested that major share of Indian black money was routed from Pakistan.
Bellary mines scandal: Illegal iron ore miningwas found to be taking place in the Bellary region of Karnataka. The illegal mining startedafter paying an infinitesimal royalty to the government. The major regularities involved wereG. Karunakara Reddy and G. Janardhana Reddy who are ministers in the Government ofKarnataka and also the owners of Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC). The CBI raidedtheir residence and seized over 3 crore in cash and 30 kg of gold from Janardhana Reddy’shouse and over Rs 1.5 crore in cash from Srinivas Reddy’s residence. BL Kashyap - EPFO scam: This year alsowitnessed another scam with one of Indias fastest-growing construction firms being chargedwith carrying out the countrys biggest provident fund (PF) evasion. According to the EPFOorder BL Kashyap and Sons excluded nearly 71,000 workers from PF benefits. The order alsofound huge variations in the wage payments booked by the firm in its audited balance sheetsand the records submitted to the PF office, leading to suspicion that it employed moreworkers than it claimed. BL Kashyap and Sons Ltd whose clients include Taj Hotels, IBM,Microsoft and Delhis international airport were seen allegedly causing a loss of Rs 169 croreto the exchequer between 2005 and 2009 and were asked to fork out Rs 593 crore in PF duesand penalties.
Investment Scam: This year’s scandals alsoinclude the Kochi-based real estate Company ‘Apple A Day Properties’ who duped aroundRs 1,000 Crore. They lured property buyers by promising flats at a low rate in Kerala’scapital Kochi and nearby areas and collected advances from various persons, including NRIs,running into crores of rupees. They even offered a car for those who first booked flats andpaid advance. This scam could have left lakhs of victims in the state and abroad poorer by upto Rs 1,000 crore. Education Scam: The most shocking scam ofthe year could definitely be given to the Education scam. The scam cost the state ofMaharashtra as much as 1000 crore rupees. The state government started investigation to findout how many students on the rolls of state run and government aided schools were bogus. 1.4 lakh students were found to be bogus in a single district which also suggested that thestate handed over extra unaccounted money for an amount of Rs 120 crore to these schools.