2 Nov 2023 10:46 AM GMT
The Supreme Court on Thursday (November 2) reserved judgment in a batch of petitions challenging the electoral bonds scheme. A Constitution Bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justices Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai, JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra heard the matter for three days.The petitioners - Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), Communist Party of India (Marxist), Dr...
The Supreme Court on Thursday (November 2) reserved judgment in a batch of petitions challenging the electoral bonds scheme. A Constitution Bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justices Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai, JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra heard the matter for three days.
The petitioners - Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), Communist Party of India (Marxist), Dr Jaya Thakur -challenge the amendments introduced by the Finance Act 2017 which paved the way for electoral bonds scheme. According to the petitioners, the anonymity attached to the electoral bonds affect the transparency in political fundings and infringe the voters' right to information. They also contended that the scheme allowed contributions to be made through shell compan
The Union Government defended the scheme as a method to ensure that 'white' money is used for political fundings through proper banking channels. The Government further contended that it was necessary to keep the identity of donors confidential so that they will not face any retribution from political parties.
During the hearing, the bench raised several pertinent queries to the Central Government about the scheme, flagging its "selective anonymity" and also asked whether it is legalising kickbacks for parties. The bench observed that it was possible for the ruling party to know the identity of the donors, whereas the opposition parties cannot get such information. The bench also raised questions about the removal of the condition that companies can only donate a maximum of 7.5% of their net profits to political parties.
While concluding the hearing, the bench also directed the Election Commission of India to submit to the Court in a sealed cover the details of the contributions received by all political parties through electoral bonds till September 30.
Separate report on the final day's arguments can be read here.
Electoral Bonds | Do It In A Proportional, Tailor-Made Manner Which Took Care Of Serious Deficiencies: Supreme Court Tells Union [Day 3]
Advocate Prashant Bhushan(for ADR), Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal(for Dr.Jaya Thakur), Advocate Shadan Farasat (for CPI(M)), Advocate Nizam Pasha and Senior Advocate Vijay Hansaria argued for the petitioners. Attorney General for India R Venkataramani and Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta appeared for the Union.
Live updates from today's hearing can be followed here.
Previous Reports of the hearing can be read here :
No Way To Prohibit Trading Of Electoral Bonds Since They Can Be Transferred, Says Supreme Court During Hearing [Day 1]
Electoral Bonds Violate Citizens' Right To Information, Promote Corruption: Prashant Bhushan To Supreme Court [Day 1]
Is Electoral Bonds Scheme Legalising Kickbacks? Are Means Proportional? Supreme Court Asks Union Govt [Day 2]