Electoral Bonds: Prashant Bhushan Asks for SIT Probe Under Retire SC Judge in EB Scams


Lawyer Prashant Bhushan and RTI activist Anjali Bhardwaj on Saturday said accountability was needed to be fixed in the now-scrapped electoral bonds (EB) scheme which had become a `big scam’. A petition seeking probe by a Special Investigation Team into the scheme was likely to come up before the Supreme Court next week, they told reporters.

In a landmark judgement, the apex court in February this year struck down the electoral bonds scheme, terming it unconstitutional.

“We want the accountability in the rip-off, which has been dubbed as the world’s biggest scam, fixed,” said Bhushan.

The petition has been filed by NGOs Common Cause and Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL).  While Bhushan had appeared for the petitioners in the electoral bonds case, Bhardwaj is a member of Common Cause.

A retired Supreme Court judge should head the SIT and its members should include retired CBI officers “with integrity”, they saiBhushan said the lion’s share of the EBs purchased by companies went, as a bribe, to the political parties which were in power.

“Such companies bagged contracts, or policies were tweaked in their favour,” the lawyer said, further claiming that some companies which were facing probe or inquiry by the Enforcement Directorate, Income Tax and CBI also purchased the bonds to avoid action.

“Some pharmaceutical firms whose drugs were held to be sub-standard or life-threatening by the drug controller were allowed in the market after taking bribes through EBs,” Bhushan alleged, adding that the names of the people involved in such quid-pro-quo transactions should come to light.

“That is why Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s husband Parakala Prabhakar says that the electoral bonds scheme was the biggest scam not of just India but the whole world,” he added.

Bhardwaj said that the EB scheme also trampled on the right to information. Companies donated money to the ruling parties through electoral bonds to get contracts, she alleged.