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'Quid pro quo' in electoral bonds: Petition in Supreme Court seek SIT probe; check details

It is reportedly said that the plea also seeks direction to the authorities to investigate the source of funding of shell companies and loss-making companies to various political parties, as has been disclosed through the electoral bonds data.

Quid pro quo' in electoral bonds: Petition in Supreme Court seek SIT probe; check details AJR
First Published Apr 24, 2024, 1:02 PM IST

A petition was filed in the Supreme Court on Wednesday (April 24) and has reignited the debate surrounding electoral bonds, calling for a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into alleged instances of quid pro quo arrangements between political parties and their donors.

Led by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) and Common Cause, the petition contends that the electoral bonds scheme has facilitated a "scam worth crores of rupees."

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According to Senior Advocate Prashant Bhushan, representing the NGOs, the data released by the Election Commission reveals concerning trends.

"The data as published by the Election Commission exposed how quid pro quo arrangements have potentially been made between large corporates and political parties in the last six years through electoral bonds," Prashant Bhushan said.

The petition asserts that private companies have allegedly paid significant sums either as "protection money" or as bribes in exchange for favors from ruling parties.

Moreover, the petition highlights instances where ruling parties purportedly amended policies to benefit private corporations, compromising public interest and the exchequer. It also underscores the involvement of "loss-making companies" and "shell firms" in substantial donations, raising further questions about the transparency and integrity of the electoral process.

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In light of these revelations, the petition seeks not only a thorough SIT investigation but also the recovery of donated amounts deemed to be proceeds of illicit activities. This move comes after the Supreme Court invalidated the electoral bonds scheme on February 15, following a ruling declaring it unconstitutional.

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