‘Quid pro quo’ in electoral bonds: NGOs move Supreme Court, seek SIT probe | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

‘Quid pro quo’ in electoral bonds: NGOs move Supreme Court, seek SIT probe

By, New Delhi
Apr 24, 2024 12:49 PM IST

The petition has been moved by Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), and Common Cause.

Over two months after the Supreme Court struck down the electoral bonds scheme, with a Chief Justice DY Chandrachud-led Constitution bench ruling it to be “unconstitutional,” a petition has been moved in the Supreme Court seeking probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the alleged instances of “quid pro quo instances” between political parties and their donors.

The Supreme Court. (HT PHOTO)
The Supreme Court. (HT PHOTO)

Also Read | Congress attacks FM Sitharaman over her ‘electoral bonds will be back’ remark

Moved by two NGOs – Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), and Common Cause – the petition claimed that a “scam worth crores of rupees” was involved in the electoral bonds matter. The proposed SIT inquiry must be monitored by the top court itself, it also stated.

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“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. The data shows private companies have paid crores of funds either as protection money from protection against agencies of the central government, or as a bribe in return for undue benefits,” the petitioners argued.

Also Read | ‘Extortion scheme, biggest scam’: Oppn slams PM Modi's electoral bonds defence

The petition, moved by Senior Advocate Prashant Bhushan for the NGOs, further stated that the data, which was shared by the State Bank of India (SBI) with the Election Commission, also showed instances in which ruling parties “apparently amended policies/laws to provide benefits to private corporates at the cost of public interest and the public exchequer.”

The bonds data, the petitioners said, also showed that “loss-making companies' and ”shell firms" also donated “huge sums.”

Additionally, directions have been sought for authorities to recover the amounts donated as “quid pro quo” arrangements, in cases where these are found to be proceeds of crimes.

The electoral bonds scheme, introduced by the Narendra Modi government in January 2018, was struck down by the Supreme Court on February 15 this year. The government has repeatedly rejected opposition's quid pro quo charges.

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