New Delhi, Mar 15:

Future Gaming and Hotel Services, whose director is the lottery magnate Santiago Martin, is the top purchaser of electoral bonds having purchased bonds worth Rs 1368 crore according to data uploaded by the Election Commission of India on its website on Thursday. The data relates to a period from 2019-2024.

Coimbatore-based Future Gaming is one of India’s biggest lottery companies and its founder is Santiago Martin.

Megha Engineering Infrastructure Limited purchased bonds worth Rs 966 crores. As per the company website Megha Engineering & Infrastructures Limited (MEIL) is a major infrastructure company headquartered in Hyderabad, India. The company was established in 1989 and has made a name for itself in the manufacturing and engineering sector.

Qwik Supply Chain Private Limited purchased electoral bonds worth Rs 409 crore. As per the registrar of companies Qwik Supply Chain Private Limited is a private company incorporated on November 9, 2000. It is registered at Registrar of Companies, Mumbai.

Most prominent political parties have been beneficiaries of the scheme. They include the Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Trinamool Congress, Telugu Desam Party, Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), Shiv Sena, YSR Congress Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Aam Aadmi Party and Jana Sena Party.

Earlier on Thursday, the Election Commission uploaded the data on electoral bonds on its website as received from SBI with Future Gaming and Hotel Services and Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Ltd among the top donors to political parties.

According to the data, some of the donors include Finolex Cables Ltd, Lakshmi Niwas Mittal, Edelweiss Housing Finance Ltd, GHCL Ltd, Jindal Poly Films Limited, ITC Limited and Vedanta Limited, Grasim Industries Limited PR, Piramal Capital and Housing Finance Limited, Piramal Enterprises Ltd, Muthoot Finance Limited, Pegasus Properties Private Limited, Bajaj Finance Ltd, Bharti Airtel Limited, Apollo Tyres Limited and SpiceJet Limited.

JK Cement Ltd, DLF Commercial Developers Limited, Avon Cycles Ltd, Zydus Healthcare Limited, Cipla Limited, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd, Mankind Pharma Limited, Qwik Supply Chain Private Limited, Haldia Energy Limited, Essel Mining and Industry Limited, Western UP Power Transmission Company Limited. Keventer Food Parks Limited, Jindal Steel and Power Limited, BG Shirke Construction Technology Pvt Ltd, Rungta Sons Pvt Ltd and Torrent Power Limited are also among donors, according to the data.

The poll panel issued a press note providing the link on which the data provided by the SBI can be accessed.

The poll panel uploaded details of electoral bonds submitted by the State Bank of India in two parts. The first part includes the name of the purchaser of the electoral bond, date, and denomination. The second list has the date of encashment, name of the political party and denomination.

The Election Commission issued a press note on Thursday and referred to the directions of the Supreme Court while putting out the electoral bond data.

“In compliance of Hon’ble Supreme Court’s directions, contained in its order dated Feb 15 and March 11, 2024 (in the matter of WPC NO.880 of 2017), the State Bank of India (SBI) had provided the data pertaining to the electoral bonds to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on March 12, 2024,” the press note said.

The poll panel said that it has “consistently and categorically weighed in favour of disclosure and transparency”, a position reflected in the proceedings of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and noted in the order also.

The Chairman of State Bank of India filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court on Wednesday apprising that in compliance with the court’s order, date of purchase of each electoral bond, the name of the purchaser and the denomination of the electoral bond purchased has been furnished to the Election Commission of India.

SBI said that the data has been furnished in respect of bonds purchased and redeemed between April 12, 2019 to February 15, 2024.

A total of 22,217 bonds were purchased during the period April 1, 2019, till February 15, 2024, SBI told the Supreme Court.

A five-judge Constitution bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai, JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra had unanimously quashed the electoral bonds scheme as well as amendments made to the Income Tax Act and the Representation of People Act which had made the donations anonymous.

It had asked SBI to furnish details and the details about each electoral bond encashed by the political parties, which shall include the date of encashment and the denomination of electoral bond.

An electoral bond was an instrument in the nature of a promissory note or bearer bond which can be purchased by any individual, company, firm or association of persons provided the person or body is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India. The bonds were issued specifically for the purpose of contribution of funds to political parties.

These bonds were issued/purchased for any value, in multiples of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1,00,000, Rs 10,00,000 and Rs 1,00,00,000 from the specified branches of the State Bank of India (SBI).

Various petitions were filed before the top court challenging amendments made to different statutes through Finance Act 2017 and Finance Act 2016 on the ground that they have opened doors to unlimited, unchecked funding of political parties.


Shaharbeen News Service Kashmir is a news service which covers, gathers, writes, and distributes news to newspapers, periodicals, radio and television broadcasters, government agencies, and other users. We at SNS Kashmir believe in fair and independent journalism to inform our masses or subscribers and readers about the happenings around the world. The prime focus of the news gathering and reporting is focused on Jammu and Kashmir state.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.