NEW DELHI: The Centre’s decision to introduce Electoral Bond Scheme has come under judicial scrutiny with the Supreme Court on Friday agreeing to hear plea of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) to set it aside, and seeking the government’s response.
Claiming that the scheme will clean up political funding in India, the NDA government had, in last year’s Budget, decided to bring electoral bonds despite stiff opposition from the political opposition and some reservations from the Election Commission. The EC had initially referred to the move as a “retrogade step”.
Challenging the government’s action, CPM and its general secretary Sitaram Yechury approached the apex court pleading that the move to float electoral bonds should be scrapped as it would lead to greater political corruption.
Senior advocate Raju Ramachandrana and lawyer Shadan Farasat, appearing for the petitioners, told a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud that the issue is very important and needed examination by the apex court.
“The petitioners submit that the confluence of uncapped corporate resources funding political parties can only lead to private corporate interests taking precedence over the needs and rights of the people in policy consideration.
The system of corporate donations has been made correspondingly secretive by removing the requirement of disclosure of the names of political parties to whom contributions have been made by amendment to the Company Act, 2013,” the petition said.
“In effect, at both ends of the transaction, neither the contributor nor the recipient of the funds is required to disclose the identity of the other. The inevitable consequences of these amendments is destruction of the principle underlying Article 19(1)(a) (and the concept of democratic institutions,” it said.
As per the provisions, the bonds will be issued in multiples of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 crore, available at specified branches of SBI.
Source : timesofindia