Harshad Mehta was known as the ‘Amitabh Bachchan of the Stock Market’. 
Harshad Mehta was known as the ‘Amitabh Bachchan of the Stock Market’. (Photo: The Quint
  • 1. Who Was Harshad Mehta?
  • 2. What Was the Securities Scam?
  • 3. What Happened to Harshad Mehta?
  • 4. What Was the Extent of the Scam and What Is its Status...
  • 5. Whatever Happened to the All the Cases?
Harshad Mehta: The Baap of Bank Frauds Before Nirav Modi

Georg Hegel, a German philosopher once said: “We learn from history what we do not learn from history.” This quote is very apt, especially in the light of the Rs 13,000-crore Nirav Modi-Punjab National Bank scam. Why? Because back when India had just opened up its markets to the world in 1991, a stock broker named Harshad Mehta had pulled off an even more audacious scam by exploiting the loopholes in the Indian banking system.

Adjusted for inflation today, Harshad Mehta fraudulently laundered over Rs 24,000 crore in the stock market over a three-year period.

What happened to those accused in the scam, including Harshad Mehta himself? Was the money ever recovered? Will the fraud cases that are still being contested in court today ever come to a meaningful conclusion?

  • 1. Who Was Harshad Mehta?

    Harshad Mehta was a well-known stock broker, alleged to have manipulated the stock market in 1992 by drawing funds from banks fraudulently with worthless bank receipts and subsequently using this liquidity to buy huge amounts of shares at a premium across many industry verticals.

    Born as Harshad Shantilal Mehta in 1954 to a lower middle-class Gujarati family, Mehta spent his early childhood in Kandivali, Mumbai, whilst his father ran a small business. However, the family had to shift to Raipur in Chhattisgarh for medical reasons.

    Mehta completed his schooling in Raipur but never showed much promise. He moved back to Mumbai alone after completing school, completed his B.Com from Lajpat Rai College and took up odd jobs – from selling hosiery to sorting diamonds – for the next eight years.

    His journey to becoming the ‘Big Bull’ Mehta began when he landed a job as a sales person at The New India Assurance Company. It is here that he got interested in the stock market, following which he quit and joined a brokerage firm in 1981. By the year 1990, Mehta had risen from rags to riches and had become a prominent name in the Indian stock market.


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