26 years on, Bombay high court acquits 10 accused in Harshad Mehta securities scam
Twenty-six years after the stockbroker Harshad Mehta-led securities scam shook the nation, the Bombay high court (HC) on Thursday acquitted seven officers of the State Bank of India (SBI) and State Bank of India Capital Markets Limited (SBI Caps) and three others of duping SBI Caps to the tune of Rs 105 crore. This includes a share-broker attached to Mehta’s firm.
A special court of justice Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi acquitted the accused after noticing that the Banking, Securities and Fraud division of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had completely failed to prove charges against them.
The CBI had alleged that the prime accused, Rama Sitharaman, C Ravi Kumar and Mehta, plotted a securities scam with others. As part of this, they cheated SBI Caps of Rs 105 crore in sale and purchase transactions of securities from 1991-92. SBI Caps routed all 24 transactions via Mehta and suffered a loss.
The FIR was registered on the basis of a complaint filed by Janardan Bandopadhyay of SBI Caps, who was later arraigned as an accused. After CBI investigation, a more accused were added.