Electoral bonds: Plea in SC seeks SIT probe into alleged quid pro quo between parties, corporates

 The row over the opaque electoral bonds scheme is far from over with a plea being filed in the Supreme Court seeking a court-monitored probe by a special investigation team (SIT) into alleged instances of “apparent quid pro quo” involving political parties, corporate entities and officials of investigative agencies.

A five-judge constitution bench of the apex court had on February 15 scrapped the Centre’s electoral bonds scheme of anonymous political funding.

Following a Supreme Court directive, the State Bank of India, which was the authorised seller of electoral bonds, had shared the data with the Election Commission, which later made the data public.

The electoral bonds scheme, which was notified by the government on January 2, 2018, was pitched as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties as part of its efforts to bring transparency in political funding.

The plea, filed through advocate Prashant Bhushan, has sought a 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.

It has also sought a direction to the authorities to recover the amounts from political parties as donated by companies to them as part of “quid pro quo arrangements where these are found to be proceeds of crime”.(PTI)

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