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HomeFact CheckPak Based Power Firm Did Not Buy Electoral Bonds In India, Here's...

Pak Based Power Firm Did Not Buy Electoral Bonds In India, Here’s What Our Ground Report Reveals

Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Pankaj Menon

Claim
Pakistan-based Hub Power Company brought electoral bonds, thereby funding Indian political party. 

Fact
The Pakistan-based firm denied any such purchase of electoral bonds in India.

Following the orders of the Supreme Court, the Election Commission of India, on March 14, released the details pertaining to the electoral bonds made available to it by the SBI. Soon after, several social media users claimed to have spotted a Pakistan-based company in the list of purchasers of the bonds, thereby alleging that a Pakistani firm funded an Indian political party. While some accused the BJP of taking funds from Pakistan’s Hub Power Company, others claimed that the Congress was the recipient of such donations. Newscheker found the claim to be untrue.

Such posts can be seen here, here, here and here.

Also Read: Viral Gazette Notification On Appointment Of Election Commissioners Is Fake

Fact Check/Verification

We looked up the official website of Pakistan-based Hub Power Company Limited, and found its full name to be “The Hub Power Company Limited” (HUBCO). Notably, the name of the firm in the electoral bonds list is “Hub Power Company.”

electoral bonds
Screengrab from HUBCO’s website

HUBCO’s ‘About Us’ section identified the firm as the largest independent power generating company in Pakistan with plants in Balochistan, Punjab and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK). Adding that the firm has stakes in multiple Pakistani companies, and is also in a joint venture with China Power International Holding Limited.

In an X post, dated March 15, 2024, HUBCO clarified that the firm “is being mistakenly identified as and connected to the recent inquiry in India about electoral bonds, which includes an Indian company called “Hub Power Company”.” Archived version of the post can be seen here.

Screengrab from X post by @TheHubPowerCo

“We would like to categorically state that we are not affiliated with the company named in this matter or any other company based in India. The payments which are being highlighted on the media has no connection whatsoever with HUBCO. Any payments we make outside Pakistan are processed after obtaining the necessary approvals by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) against SBP registered contracts. We urge all to verify the facts before publishing any content that may result in spreading misinformation, (sic)” the Pakistan-based company said.

Speaking to Newschecker the Pak-based company said, “HUBCO has never made any payments to any person in India. The payments we make outside Pakistan are processed after obtaining the necessary approvals by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) against SBP registered contracts. Furthermore, payments are made only against valid Purchases or under Contractual obligations, which are strictly restricted to our business purposes.”

Furthermore, we came across a release by the Finance Ministry, dated January 2, 2018, titled ‘Introduction of the scheme of electoral bonds’ stating that only “A citizen of India or a body incorporated in India will be eligible to purchase the bond.”

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Hence, a foreign entity, with no direct association with India, can not directly purchase the electoral bonds in its own name. Thus the social media posts claiming that a Pakistani firm brought electoral bonds in India and donated to an Indian political party are false.

Also Read: 2022 Video From Rajasthan Shared As Massive Support To Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra In Nashik

We continued our investigation to ascertain more details about “HUB POWER COMPANY” listed in the SBI data  on electoral bonds, and looked it up on “opencorporates.com,” a website listing companies worldwide. However, we did not find any company with the same or similar name registered in India.

Screengrab from opencorporates.com website

We then looked up relevant keywords on Google and found the profile of “HUB POWER COMPANY” on IndiaMart and Just Dial. The websites listed the GST number (GSTIN) of the company as 07BWNPM0985J1ZX, and address as  S/f- 2/40, Delhi-110031.

(L-R) Screengrab from IndiaMart website and Just Dial website

We searched for the aforementioned GSTIN on the official website of the GST, and found that the legal name of the business was ‘Ravi Mehra’, and the principal place of business was listed as ‘second floor, building number 40, block number 2, Geeta Colony, Delhi 110031’. The firm was registered on November 12, 2018, however its GSTIN was later cancelled on a suo motu basis.

Screengrab from GST website

Newschecker visited the address listed on the GST website. We found two houses numbered 40 in block 2. An elderly resident in one of the houses directed us to the second address which had the house number 40, and was also owned by one ‘Ravi’. The four-storeyed house, however, was found to be locked but had the house number 2/40- the same as mentioned on the GST website- written on its entrance. Neighbours informed us that the owner of the house was one “Ravi Arora” (not Mehra), a government employee, and not a businessman.  

We then enquired if any business was operated from the house in recent years, the people in the neighbourhood said, “We have not seen any business under the name Hub Power Company or any other business running here in the last 10 years.”

We also reached out to Ravi Arora who informed us that he does not run any such company, nor does he know any Ravi Mehra personally. “I am a central government employee. I left this house and shifted to another place with my family in 2022. I visit this house (Geeta colony) sometime,” said Arora.

Arora further said, “Notices from government agencies in the name of Ravi Mehra were sent to the address of our house till a couple of years ago. The postman, who delivered such notices told me that a man named Ravi Mehra lived at house number 40 in Old Geeta colony, but has given the address (2/40, Geeta colony) for correspondence.” On being  asked if he was in possession of any such notices, Ravi Arora declined saying “It’s a very old thing, I do not have it currently.”

Newchecker cannot independently verify the information given by Ravi Arora about Ravi Mehra. We are investigating further to ascertain more about the GST filing of the company, and the article will be updated if any new information is received.

Also Read: Gayatri Mantra Recited At PM’s Oath-Taking Ceremony In Pakistan? No, Viral Video Is From 2017 Holi Event In Karachi

Conclusion

Viral claim that Pakistan-based Hub Power Company brought electoral bonds in India, and funded an Indian political party is false.

Result: False

Sources
X Post By HUBCO, Dated March 15, 2024
Press Release By Finance Ministry, Dated January 2, 2018


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Authors

Vasudha noticed the growing problem of mis/disinformation online after studying New Media at ACJ in Chennai and became interested in separating facts from fiction. She is interested in learning how global issues affect individuals on a micro level. Before joining Newschecker’s English team, she was working with Latestly.

Pankaj Menon

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