38.6c New Delhi, India, Thursday, June 13, 2024
Judiciary

Supreme Court reserves judgement on validity of Electoral Bonds; tells EC to furnish data on donations to Pol parties

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      03 November, 2023 10:40 AM      0 Comments
SC reserves judgement on validity of Electoral Bonds; tells EC to furnish data on donations to Pol parties

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its judgement on validity of Electoral Bonds, introduced in January, 2018 for the political parties to receive donations.

The top court also directed the Election Commission to furnish data on donations made to political parties till September 30, 2023.

A bench of Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud and Justices Sanjiv Khanna, B R Gavai, J B Pardiwala, and Manoj Misra wrapped up the hearing on the clutch of petitions after three days of hearing.

During the hearing, the Centre defended the scheme for bringing in clean money through banking channels as contribution for the political parties. The Centre refuted the charge that it was opaque and non transparent, saying it contained confidentiality for the donors to avoid victimisation and retribution.

During the hearing, the bench agreed that the scheme reduced the cash in electoral process, encouraged use of authorised banking channels but there was a need for transparency and there should not be legitimising of kickbacks and quid pro quo between the power centre and benefactors.

The court heard Attorney General R Venkatramani, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and advocate Kanu Agrawal on behalf of the Union government.

Senior advocates Kapil Sibal, and Vijay Hansaria and advocate Prashant Bhushan, and others argued against the scheme.

Bhushan, in his rejoinder arguments, said he did not have any problem with the Electoral Bonds, if there was a total transparency into it.

Before concluding the hearing, the bench directed the EC to get the data in accordance with the order passed by the apex court in April 2019, till the period ending on September 30, 2023.

The bench said as per April 12, 2019 order, interim direction was issued by this court to the EC. It said the order of this court was not restricted to the date on which it was pronounced.

NGO Association for Democratic Reforms, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Dr Jaya Thakur (Congress leader), Spandan Biswal, and others have challenged the validity of the scheme.
 



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