Harshad Mehta‘s wife Jyoti Mehta has launched a website aiming to explain her late husband’s side of the story as well as all the debate surrounding the 1992 Scam that shocked India’s capital markets. The ‘Securities Scam,’ as it became known, was a Rs 4,000 crore scam and remains one of the worst frauds committed on the Indian stock market to date.
The late Mehta was a certified and well-known broker who regulators accused of manipulating the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) alongside his colleagues by exploiting banking system flaws.
Outlining the purpose behind the website’s debut, Mehta’s wife said, “Since the media, movie and web series has (sic) kept him alive, I consider it to be my duty to defend him posthumously since all the facts have emerged and already got established, discovered, proved and become unimpeachable and most of which are in the form of orders passed by Hon’ble Courts and Tribunals.”
The website publishes an explosive news report published in The Times of India in April 1992 that exposed the ‘scam’ and was disputed by both the Chairman and the General Manager of SBI. Jyoti Mehta claims there was an attempt to weaken her husband, a famous trader at the time, and ‘bring down the booming stock market’ by instilling fear.
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Jyoti Mehta says that her family has been the primary victims of what she refers to as “tax terrorism” since 1993.
The website goes on to add, “It is ironic that the allegations of criminal offences were made which does not concern the Income Tax department but the “State” used the IT department the most to foist upon us false, fabricated and patently illegal demands of about Rs30,000 crores spread over more than 2,200 proceedings. The discretionary powers under the IT Act have been grossly abused to raise such preposterous demands assessing us by more than 100 to 300 times of our actual incomes.”
Mehta stated that despite the fact that her husband was “not proven guilty of claims brought against him,” he has been maligned by the media, and that “no cent is now payable to the banks.”
Jyoti Mehta also claimed that her husband’s death in a Thane jail in 2001 was the result of a conspiracy.
“He was absolutely hale and hearty and was just 47 years of age with no prior medical history of any heart ailment,” she wrote, adding that jail authorities neglected his complaint for “4 precious hours after he suffered the first heart attack at around 7 pm”.
One of the largest and most famous stock market scams in Indian history. The ‘Security Scam,’ as it was commonly called, was believed to be worth roughly Rs 3500 crores. Between April 1991 and May 1992, Harshad Mehta, a stockbroker, raised funds from banks and fraudulently invested them in equities listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange. As a consequence, the BSE Sensex increased by 274%, rising from 1,194 to over 4,500 points.
As the markets proceeded to reach new highs, people began to look up to him as the ‘Big Bull,’ and began purchasing stocks in which he was investing. Consequently, many retail investors had made significant investments in equities. The State Bank of India (SBI) reported a shortage in government securities in August 1992. This prompted an inquiry, which revealed Harshad Mehta’s Rs 3,500-crore scam.
He was sentenced to jail in 1992 and died there in 2001 as a result of a heart attack. After the crisis faded, it was discovered that many of Harshad’s shares were traded in the market on his behalf by having them transferred to benami names. This generated severe worries regarding actual investors’ interests. As a result, SEBI began the procedure of identifying investors using legal papers and taking proper caution while interacting with them.