Sabse Badi Hera Pheri

Summary: Sabse Badi Hera Pheri is a popular Hindi phrase that translates to “the greatest robbery.” It refers to the notorious financial scandal of 1992, which involved the illegal withdrawal of Rs. 9.5 crore from the Bank of India in Mumbai. The scam was engineered by Harshad Mehta, a well-known stockbroker, who exploited various loopholes in the Indian banking system to defraud investors and line his own pockets. This article will explore the details of this infamous scandal and its repercussions on the Indian economy and banking sector.

1. Background and Context

The story of Sabse Badi Hera Pheri begins in the late 1980s, when India was experiencing a period of rapid economic growth and liberalization policies. In this environment, many individuals and companies were looking to invest in the booming stock market, and a new class of brokers and traders emerged to cater to their needs. One of these brokers was Harshad Mehta, who quickly rose to fame as a savvy and successful operator.

However, Mehta’s methods were not entirely ethical or legal. He soon began exploiting various loopholes and irregularities in the Indian banking system to siphon off funds from banks and use them to manipulate the stock market. His modus operandi involved using bogus bank receipts, manipulating interbank transactions, and pumping up the value of certain stocks through circular trading and other means.

In 1991, Mehta and his associates executed their most audacious move yet – the illegal withdrawal of Rs. 9.5 crore from the Bank of India’s branch in Mumbai. They used fake bank receipts, forged documents, and a complex web of transactions to pull off the heist. The scam remained undetected for several months, during which time Mehta reinvested the money in the stock market and made huge profits.

2. Unraveling of the Scam

The Sabse Badi Hera Pheri scandal began to unravel in April 1992, when investigative journalist Sucheta Dalal published a series of articles exposing Mehta’s fraudulent activities. The articles triggered a chain reaction of events that led to Mehta’s downfall and the exposure of the scam.

The Reserve Bank of India launched an investigation into the irregularities in interbank transactions, which revealed that Mehta had been using fake bank receipts to borrow money from other banks. This led to a run on the stock market as investors panicked and started selling off their holdings. The government was forced to intervene and close down the stock exchanges for several weeks.

Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) launched a probe into the illegal withdrawal from the Bank of India. The investigation revealed the extent of Mehta’s fraud and brought to light the involvement of several key players in the banking sector, including senior officials and politicians. Mehta himself was arrested and charged with multiple counts of fraud and cheating.

3. Impact on the Indian Economy and Banking Sector

The Sabse Badi Hera Pheri scandal had a profound impact on the Indian economy and banking sector. The stock market crash caused by the scam wiped out billions of rupees in investor wealth and shattered public trust in the system. The government was forced to implement measures to restore confidence, including setting up a special court to try economic offenses and introducing new regulations to monitor the stock market.

The scandal also highlighted the various weaknesses and loopholes in the Indian banking system, which had allowed someone like Harshad Mehta to carry out such a massive fraud. The government responded by launching several reforms aimed at strengthening the banking sector and preventing similar scams in the future. These included the establishment of various regulatory bodies, such as the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA).


The Sabse Badi Hera Pheri scandal remains one of the most notorious financial scams in Indian history. It exposed the fragility of the country’s economic and financial systems and led to a major overhaul of regulations and safeguards. The legacy of the scam continues to be felt today, as the government grapples with new challenges and threats in the ever-evolving world of finance and business.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *