Supreme Court assures listing of plea for SIT probe into electoral bonds data

Several firms which were under investigation by Central agencies such as the CBI, ED and the I-T Department have donated large sums of money to the ruling party, potentially to influence outcomes of probes, the petition has said

Updated - May 14, 2024 06:41 pm IST

Published - May 14, 2024 06:12 pm IST - NEW DELHI

A view of the Supreme Court of India in New Delhi. File

A view of the Supreme Court of India in New Delhi. File | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

The Supreme Court on May 14 assured advocate Prashant Bhushan that a petition to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate each instance of quid pro quo, corruption and kickbacks revealed through the disclosure of details of the electoral bonds will be listed soon for hearing.

Justice Sanjiv Khanna, before whom Mr. Bhushan made an oral mentioning for early listing, said the petition was before the Chief Justice of India, who would allot a date and a Bench for it.

The petition filed by Common Cause and the Centre for Public Interest Litigation, represented by Mr. Bhushan and advocates Cheryl D’Souza and Neha Rathi, said some of the country’s main investigative agencies such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Income Tax (I-T) Department “appear to have become accessories to corruption”.

Several firms which were under investigation by these agencies have donated large sums of money to the ruling party, potentially to influence outcomes of probes, the petition has said.

“Thus, the investigation in this case would not only need to unravel the entire conspiracy in each instance, which would involve officers of the company, officials of the government and functionaries of political parties but also the officers concerned of agencies like the ED/I-T and CBI etc., who appear to have become part of this conspiracy,” it has submitted.

Referring to reports and extensive data mining done by The Hindu and other media outlets, the petition said the information published reveal that the bulk of the bonds appear to have been given as quid pro quo arrangements by corporates to political parties.

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