Electrol Bond Sc

Electoral Bonds

Jass KaurLast Seen: Mar 11, 2024 @ 12:26pm 12MarUTC
Jass Kaur

16th February 2024 | 4 Views

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The Supreme Court of India has once again demonstrated the importance of checks and balances in a democracy. The recent verdict on electoral bonds serves as a reminder that no institution is above the law, including the government.
The five-judge bench declared the electoral bond scheme unconstitutional, illegal, and non-transparent. The scheme, introduced through an amendment to the Finance Bill in 2017, lifted all restrictions on funding political parties. This allowed shell companies, profit-making companies, and loss-making companies to donate anonymously.
Previously, companies could only donate 7.5% of their average net profit over three financial years. The scheme also legalized foreign funding for political parties.
Donations were required to be made through electoral bonds, essentially a form of currency for political contributions. This lack of transparency raised concerns about potential corruption, as the identities of both donors and recipients remained hidden.
The Supreme Court’s judgment on February 15, 2024, highlighted three major issues with the scheme:
Violation of the Right to Information Act under Article 19(A)(1)
Donations from shell companies jeopardizing electoral integrity
Lack of transparency and potential for abuse
The Court also raised questions about the scheme’s effectiveness in preventing kickbacks and the rationale behind donations from loss-making companies or companies offering significant portions of their profits without expecting anything in return.
The Court’s directives include:
1.The issuing bank (SBI) must stop issuing electoral bonds.
2.SBI must share details of all electoral bonds purchased since April 12, 2019, including purchase date, buyer name, and bond denomination.
3.SBI must disclose details of all received electoral bonds, including encashment details and bond denomination.
4.SBI must provide these details to the Election Commission of India by March 6, 2024.
The Election Commission must publish the information received from SBI on its website by March 13, 2024.
5.Unused electoral bonds must be returned to the issuing bank for a refund to the purchaser’s account.
This judgment has been welcomed by many citizens as it upholds the principles of transparency and accountability in the political process.

Jass KaurLast Seen: Mar 11, 2024 @ 12:26pm 12MarUTC

Jass Kaur



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