Following an order by a five-judge Bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud, the Election Commission of India (ECI) published the electoral bond details on their official website on March 14 in two parts. The first part included details of the donors such as the date of donation, the name of the purchaser and the amount. Part 2 comprised the details specific to each political party, such as dates, party names and amounts. This revealed that the BJP had encashed electoral bonds worth ₹6060.5 crores, the highest among all the political parties. The data regarding who donated to whom is yet to be published.

Against the backdrop of this, social media users have singled out an entity named ‘Hub Power Company’ from the purchaser list. The said company had purchased electoral bonds on April 18, 2019. Several users claim that the company is from Pakistan. While some claimed that it had donated to the BJP, others stated that donations were made to Congress.

X (formerly Twitter) page Samajwadi Prahari (@SP_Prahari) affiliated with the Samajwadi Party tweeted on March 15: “Pakistani company Hub Power Company donated Rs 95 lakh to BJP during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. At the same time, our soldiers were also killed in Pulwama. I have never seen a traitorous party like the BJP. Why does the BJP love Pakistani companies so much? This was the reason why BJP wanted to hide the donations.” (Archive)

X page We Dravidians (@WeDravidians) made the same claim on March 14. The tweet has received over 1.18 lakh views and has been retweeted over 1,400 times. (Archive)

X user Vivekanand Gupta 🇮🇳(Modi Ka Parivar) (@vivekanandg), whose bio says he is the secretary of BJP Mumbai, made the claim that Pakistan-based ‘Hub Power Company’ had donated to Congress. The tweet has received over 43,000 views and has been retweeted over 600 times. (Archive)

Several other social media users shared a screenshot of the purchaser list and made similar claims. Below are a few instances.

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Fact Check

To begin with, we noticed that there is a power-generation company called Hub Power Company Limited (HUBCO) in Pakistan’s Balochistan. The company shared a statement from their official X handle where they clarified that they were not associated with the Hub Power Company in India or any other company from the country. They also mentioned that the payments that are being attributed to HUBCO in the Indian media had no connection with them.

According to rules of purchase of Electoral Bonds set by the government in 2018, only a citizen of India or an entity incorporated in India is eligible to buy the bonds.

Next, we ran a relevant keyword search on Google and came across a company profile with the name ‘Hub Power Company’ on IndiaMart. In The company is said to be based in Delhi, India.

To further confirm the above, we searched the company under taxpayers on the government of India’s official website for Goods and Services Tax. Here, too, the office location of the company is mentioned as Delhi, India.

Interestingly, this page showed that the firm’s GST registration had been cancelled on the same day as it was registered. Independent media outlet Newslaundry’s Project Electoral Bond looked into further details about the firm’s representative mentioned on the page, a certain Ravi Mehra, but he could not be found, and the investigation hit a dead end.

The report quotes a Delhi government GST department as saying that “Hub Power was a ‘fake company’, which was eventually shut down”. “A senior official at the department said the company was ostensibly set up “to commit fraud”. “We found out that the company did not do the business it claimed to do. The department took suo motu cognizance and cancelled its registration.”

To sum up, it is clear that the Hub Power Company, which is mentioned as a purchaser of electoral bonds in the recently released ECI data, can not be based in Pakistan. There used to be a firm named Hub Power Company in Delhi, but no further details about it could be found. The readers should also note that with the Electoral Bond data available in public domain as of March 17, it is impossible to link a donor to a political party. Hence, all the claims about Congress or the BJP benefiting from the donation made by Hub Power Company are mere speculation.

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