Three Keventer Group Firms Donate Rs 500 Cr Via Electoral Bonds - Vibes Of India

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Three Keventer Group Firms Donate Rs 500 Cr Via Electoral Bonds

| Updated: March 15, 2024 12:44

Donations were made by the West-Bengal based companies soon after the group came under the ED scanner

The details of electoral bonds revealed on the website of the Election Commission of India  (ECI) are throwing up some surprises. One of the surprising facts is that among the top 15 electoral bond donors, three firms are registered in the same address in West Bengal. 

The firms, Keventer Foodpark Infra Pvt Ltd, Madanlal Ltd and MKJ Enterprises Ltd, belong to the Keventer group of companies. 

These three firms donated over Rs 500 crore through electoral bonds. While Keventer Foodpark Infra Pvt Ltd donated the highest amount of Rs 195 crore, Madanlal Ltd donated Rs 185.5 crore in the financial year 2019-20. Interestingly, that year its total profit before taxes was just Rs 1.84 crore! 

The Keventer group sells dairy, fresh and packaged food products. The three companies have their headquarters in Kolkata and share a common director, Radhe Shyam Khetan. He is the CEO of Keventer Realty, the group’s real estate firm.  

In 2017, the West Bengal government divested its 47% share in a dairy firm called Metro Dairy and sold it to Keventer Agro belonging to the  Keventer group. This move had created a controversy. Subsequently, the group had sold close to 15% of its shares to a Singapore-based equity firm at a much higher price. 

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had filed a PIL in the Calcutta High Court in 2018. He had accused the state government of undervaluing the company leading to a loss of around  Rs 500 crore. Chowdhury had demanded a probe into the transaction.

A preliminary enquiry was started by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in 2018. In March 2019, it reportedly raided the premises of the Keventer group. The group had been donating to political parties via electoral bonds since April 2019. 

In September 2022, the Supreme Court upheld the disinvestment of shares and dismissed another appeal filed by Chowdhury challenging the decision of the High Court.

Also Read: What Are Electoral Bonds? 

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