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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Electoral bonds Court monitored SIT sought to probe biggest scam

Electoral bonds: Court-monitored SIT sought to probe ‘biggest scam’

Updated on: 08 April,2024 07:08 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Eshan Kalyanikar |

Petitioners seek investigation into alleged bribery scheme involving CBI, ED, and political parties

Electoral bonds: Court-monitored SIT sought to probe ‘biggest scam’

Adv Prashant Bhushan (left), and Anjali Bharadwaj (centre) during the press session on Implications of the Electoral Bonds. Pic/Sameer Markande

Key Highlights

  1. Prashant Bhushan and Anjali Bharadwaj stated their plan to petition SC once more
  2. They aim to request the formation of a SIT to investigate
  3. Bhushan also highlighted how government agencies were misused

During a press conference in the city, Advocate Prashant Bhushan and transparency rights activist Anjali Bharadwaj stated their plan to petition the Supreme Court once more. They aim to request the formation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate those accountable for what they deem as the nation’s “largest scam” following the electoral bond judgment.

“The data released shows us that CBI and ED officials were involved in making companies donate crores to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),” Bhushan said. “A court-monitored SIT is needed to identify all involved in this conspiracy to give and take bribes and to award contracts. Those involved include people from various companies, political parties, from the government who made policy changes (for the companies) or who awarded contracts, and also individuals from CBI and ED, and the drug controller office,” Bhushan called for an SIT headed by a retired Supreme Court judge and a retired CBI official known for their integrity.

Bhushan also highlighted how government agencies were misused, citing the case of Sarath Reddy. “His bail was not opposed in court around the same time his company Aurobindo Pharma donated Rs 50 crore to BJP,” he said. Furthermore, Bhushan flagged how several pharmaceutical companies known for producing substandard drugs made significant donations to the ruling party at the Centre. “The government is playing with the health of its citizens. Even the Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitaraman’s husband, Parakala Prabhakar, has called it the biggest scam in the history of the country,” Bhushan said.

According to the electoral bond data released by the State Bank of India, the BJP received Rs 8,252 crore out of the total of Rs 16,492 crore redeemed between March 2018 and January 2024. The Indian National Congress was the second-largest receiver at Rs 1,952 crore, followed by the Trinamool Congress at Rs 1,705 crore, the Bharat Rashtra Samithi at Rs 1,408 crore, and the Biju Janata Dal at Rs 1,020 crore. The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam received Rs 677 crore.

“Voters need to know who is funding whom. Electoral bonds did not allow for this transparency. We need to remember that electoral bonds did not stop cash donations either, as the Home Minister (Amit Shah) claimed there was no such amendment made. We still only have electoral bond data from April 12, 2019, totalling Rs 12,000 crore, which contains both the beneficiary and the purchasers’ details. However, for the rest of about Rs 4,000 crore, we only know who benefited from it, not who purchased it,” Bharadwaj said.

Rs 8,252 cr
Funds received by the BJP through electoral bonds

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