Table of Contents


Early Life and Education

The Initial Years in the Stock Market

The Harshad Mehta Scam: A Financial Earthquake

4.1 The Mechanism of the Scam

4.2 The Magnitude of the Fraud

Investigations and Legal Proceedings

5.1 The Role of Media and Journalists

5.2 Court Trials and Convictions

Impact on Indian Economy and Stock Market

6.1 Immediate Aftermath

6.2 Long-term Reforms

Aatur Harshad Mehta: Legacy and Lessons Learned

7.1 Personal Life and Influence

7.2 Financial Market Reforms Inspired by the Scam



The tale of Aatur Harshad Mehta is a complex narrative of ambition, financial acumen, and scandal. Known as the "Big Bull" of Dalal Street, Mehta orchestrated one of India's largest stock market scams in the early 1990s, causing ripples that transformed the country's financial landscape. This article delves into the life, career, and infamous scam that defined Mehta’s legacy.

Early Life and Education

Born on July 29, 1954, in Paneli Moti, Rajkot, Gujarat, aatur harshad mehta  from a modest background. His early education was unremarkable, and he struggled academically. However, Mehta’s interest in business and finance led him to Mumbai, where he graduated from Lala Lajpatrai College with a degree in commerce. The bustling metropolis of Mumbai, with its vibrant financial markets, became the backdrop for his future exploits.

The Initial Years in the Stock Market

Mehta started his career as a jobber on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), gradually climbing the ranks to become a broker. His deep understanding of market dynamics and exceptional trading skills earned him the nickname "Amitabh Bachchan of the Stock Market." By the late 1980s, Mehta had amassed significant wealth and influence, positioning himself as a key player on Dalal Street.

The Harshad Mehta Scam: A Financial Earthquake

The Mechanism of the Scam

The Harshad Mehta scam exploited loopholes in the banking system and the stock market. Mehta manipulated the Ready Forward (RF) deals, a type of short-term loan between banks, using fake Bank Receipts (BRs) to obtain vast sums of money. He then pumped this money into the stock market, artificially inflating stock prices, particularly of ACC (Associated Cement Company) and other blue-chip companies.

The Magnitude of the Fraud

The scam unraveled in April 1992 when journalist Sucheta Dalal exposed Mehta’s fraudulent activities in "The Times of India." It was discovered that Mehta had swindled an estimated ₹4,000 crore (approximately USD 1.3 billion at the time) from the banking system. This revelation sent shockwaves through the Indian financial sector, leading to a market crash and eroding investor confidence.

Investigations and Legal Proceedings

The Role of Media and Journalists

The media played a pivotal role in uncovering the scam. Sucheta Dalal's investigative journalism not only exposed Mehta’s tactics but also highlighted systemic flaws within the banking and stock market regulations. Her work underscored the importance of media vigilance in maintaining transparency and accountability in financial markets.

Court Trials and Convictions

Following the exposure, Mehta faced numerous legal battles. He was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and charged with multiple counts of fraud, criminal conspiracy, and cheating. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) imposed a lifetime ban on him from trading in the stock market. Despite initial convictions, Mehta’s legal battles continued until his death in 2001, with several cases still pending at the time of his passing.

Impact on Indian Economy and Stock Market

Immediate Aftermath

The immediate impact of the scam was devastating. The BSE crashed, wiping out market capitalization worth billions. Investors lost their savings, and the banking sector faced severe scrutiny and turmoil. Trust in the financial system was at an all-time low, prompting urgent calls for reforms.

Long-term Reforms

In the wake of the scam, the Indian government and regulatory bodies undertook significant reforms to prevent such incidents in the future. Key measures included:

Strengthening SEBI’s regulatory powers.

Implementing stricter oversight of banking operations.

Introducing electronic trading systems to enhance transparency.

Reforming the stock market settlement process to reduce manipulation risks.

These reforms played a crucial role in modernizing India’s financial markets, ensuring greater transparency, and protecting investor interests.

Aatur Harshad Mehta: Legacy and Lessons Learned

Personal Life and Influence

Despite his notorious reputation, aatur harshad mehta  story remains a subject of intrigue and fascination. His rise from humble beginnings to the heights of financial success, followed by a dramatic fall, serves as a cautionary tale about the perils of unchecked ambition and unethical practices. Mehta’s life and the subsequent scandal have been depicted in books, documentaries, and a popular web series, cementing his place in India’s financial folklore.

Financial Market Reforms Inspired by the Scam

The Harshad Mehta scam left an indelible mark on India’s financial landscape. It spurred the implementation of robust regulatory frameworks and the development of a more resilient and transparent market infrastructure. Key lessons from the scandal include:

The importance of stringent regulatory oversight.

The need for ethical conduct in financial dealings.

The role of vigilant journalism in exposing financial malpractices.


The rise and fall of Aatur Harshad Mehta is a significant chapter in India’s financial history. His story underscores the delicate balance between innovation and regulation in financial markets. While Mehta’s fraudulent schemes had devastating consequences, they also led to crucial reforms that strengthened the integrity of India’s financial system. His legacy serves as a reminder of the enduring impact of financial ethics and the continuous need for vigilance in safeguarding market stability.

Further Insights into the Scam

The Harshad Mehta scam wasn't just a case of stock market manipulation; it was a sophisticated con that exploited multiple vulnerabilities in India's financial systems. Mehta utilized a practice called "circular trading," where he bought shares at an inflated price and sold them at an even higher price, creating an artificial demand and supply chain. This, combined with his manipulation of bank receipts, allowed him to control the prices of stocks in the market.

The Role of Banks and Financial Institutions

Several banks were complicit in Mehta’s schemes, either through negligence or active participation. Mehta took advantage of the banking system's lax controls and inter-bank transactions to create a pool of money that he could channel into the stock market. The lack of a centralized regulatory mechanism allowed such activities to go unchecked for a significant period.

Media's Investigative Role

The role of media, particularly the investigative journalism of Sucheta Dalal, cannot be understated. Her persistent digging into the unusual activities in the stock market and the banking sector brought to light the massive fraud. Dalal’s exposé set a benchmark for financial journalism in India and highlighted the crucial role of the press in uncovering malpractices.

Legal Repercussions and Judicial Process

The judicial process following the scam was lengthy and complex, involving multiple agencies like the CBI, SEBI, and the judiciary. Mehta was charged with over 70 criminal offenses and more than 600 civil action suits. His legal battles were as high-profile as his stock market dealings, drawing significant public and media attention.

Systemic Reforms and Regulatory Changes

The aftermath of the scam led to sweeping changes in India's financial regulations. Some of the critical reforms included the introduction of the Depositories Act, the SEBI Act, and the establishment of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) to introduce a transparent and electronic trading system. These measures aimed to bring about greater transparency, reduce fraud, and restore investor confidence in the market.

Legacy and Lessons for Future Generations

The legacy of Harshad Mehta’s scam is a cautionary tale for investors, regulators, and financial institutions. It emphasizes the need for stringent regulatory frameworks and the importance of ethical behavior in financial dealings. The scam also serves as a case study in business schools and financial courses, teaching future generations about the complexities of financial markets and the consequences of unethical practices.


Aatur Harshad Mehta's life story is a blend of ambition, ingenuity, and controversy. While his actions caused significant harm, they also catalyzed necessary reforms that improved the robustness of India's financial system. Mehta's story remains relevant today, serving as a powerful reminder of the need for continuous vigilance, robust regulatory frameworks, and the ethical conduct of all participants in the financial markets.



193 Stories