SC stuck down on Electoral Bonds viz previous conducted inspections

In May 2023, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted searches at the residence of Santiago Martin, a well-known lottery magnate and managing director of the company, in Chennai.

SC stuck down on Electoral Bonds viz previous conducted inspections

The Supreme Court of India has recently asked the SBI to share the whole details of the Electoral Bonds that were purchased in a few years. Previously many searches have been conducted by the Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax Department to the significant number of companies.

In terms of political donations made through the electoral bond route, the largest contributor was the Future Gaming and Hotel Services PR, with a total amount of Rs 1,368 crore. In May 2023, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted searches at the residence of Santiago Martin, a well-known lottery magnate and managing director of the company, in Chennai. The ED also conducted searches at the company's business premises in Coimbatore under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

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A year before in April 2022, ED had attached movable assets worth Rs 411 crore under PMLA in the case of a lottery scam against the company and its subsidiaries. Of the Rs 1,368 crore worth of bonds purchased by the company, 75% were done before the ED searches and 25% after the searches.

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There are three companies, namely Keventer Food Park Infra Ltd., MKJ Enterprises Ltd., and Madanlal Ltd., which have followed a similar pattern. All three firms share the same address in Kolkata, West Bengal, and have at least one common director. Together, these three companies donated a total of Rs 573 crore, which is the third-highest amount in terms of cumulative purchases. Out of this amount, Keventer Food Park Infra Ltd. purchased Rs 195 crore worth of bonds in three batches between April and May 2019, while Madanlal Ltd. purchased bonds worth Rs 185 crore between May 8 and 10, 2019

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