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Business News/ News / India/  SIT probe into electoral bonds 'scam': Plea in SC seeks court-monitored investigation
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SIT probe into electoral bonds 'scam': Plea in SC seeks court-monitored investigation

A petition has been filed in the SC seeking an SIT probe into the suspected scam involving political financing through electoral bonds, citing alleged instances of apparent quid pro quo between public servants, political parties, companies, officials of investigation agencies and others.

Chief Justice of India (CJI) Justice D.Y. Chandrachud speaks during a hearing on the electoral bonds case, in New Delhi, Monday, March 18, 2024. (PTI Photo) (PTI)Premium
Chief Justice of India (CJI) Justice D.Y. Chandrachud speaks during a hearing on the electoral bonds case, in New Delhi, Monday, March 18, 2024. (PTI Photo) (PTI)

A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court demanding a court-monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into the suspected scam involving political financing through electoral bonds, LiveLaw reported.

In the petition, Common Cause, an NGO cited news reports regarding electoral bonds purchased by certain companies such as Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Ltd, APCO Infratech Private Limited (APCO), Future Gaming and Hotel Services, Grasim Industries, IFB Agro Limited, Infina Capital Private Ltd. (Infina), Aurobindo Pharma, Vedanta, Bharti Airtel Limited.

The petitioner also alleged that several pharma companies, which were under regulatory scanner for manufacturing substandard drugs, also purchased electoral bonds. The petitioner argued that such quid pro quo arrangements are in clear violation of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

It argued that these transactions are illegal under the Prevention of Corruption Act,  1988, suggesting that the companies expected favours in return for their purchases of electoral bonds.

Also Read: Nirmala Sitharaman hints at bringing in a political funding framework that will be acceptable to all

The petitioners have sought an SIT probe into the “instances of apparent quid pro quo between public servants, political parties, commercial organisations, companies, officials of investigation agencies and others, and other offences as highlighted in the petition," LiveLaw reported.

Also Read: Centre approved printing of 10,000 electoral bonds, three days before SC order

The petition,filed through advocate Prashant Bhushan, has urged the authorities to investigate where shell companies and loss-making companies get their money from when they donate to political parties. The petitioners have demanded that if any of this money is found to have illegal origins, it should be taken back from the political parties.

Congress wants SIT probe

The Congress  had earlier called for an SC-monitored SIT probe into the electoral bonds issue. The Grand Old Party claims the financing method allows for different types of bribes to be funnelled through banks.

Also Read: 'Congress also received electoral bonds, is that also extortion,' asks Amit Shah: 'Rahul Gandhi must tell...'

Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, on March 23, accused the Narendra Modi-led NDA government of legalising corruption. The saffron party is “desperately trying to hide" black money, he alleged.

" 551 crore in donations were given to the BJP in exchange for 1.32 lakh crore in contracts/project approvals that were given by Central (govt) or BJP state governments within three months after the donation," PTI quoted Ramesh as saying at a press conference.

PM Modi on electoral bonds

PM Modi has defended electoral bonds, arguing that the process provided information about the trail of the money and the stakeholders.

"Due to electoral bonds, you are getting the trail of the money. Which company gave it? How did they give it? Where did they give it? And that is why I say when they (opposition) will think honestly, everyone will regret it," PM Modi told ANI in an interview.

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Published: 24 Apr 2024, 01:35 PM IST
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