SC Agrees To Examine Plea against Electoral Bond Scheme Soon
The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a plea against the laws allowing political parties' funding through the electoral bond scheme.
 
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, representing the NGO (non-government organisation) Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), submitted before a bench headed by chief justice NV Ramana that it is a critical issue which requires urgent hearing. He cited a news report where a Calcutta-based company paid Rs40 crore through electoral bonds to ensure that no excise raids are conducted on it.
 
The chief justice replied that if it were not for COVID,  the Court would have heard the matter.
 
The bench, also comprising justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli, assured advocate Bhushan an early listing of the matter.
 
In 2017, the NGO had filed a plea alleging subversion of democracy through illicit and lack of transparency in the accounts of all political parties. The government notified the Electoral Bond Scheme on 2 January 2018.
 
In March last year, the NGO filed an interim application, in its pending petition, claiming there was a serious apprehension that any further sale of electoral bonds before the upcoming state elections in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Assam, would further increase illegal and illicit funding of political parties through shell companies.
 
"The Electoral Bonds Scheme has opened the floodgates to unlimited corporate donations to political parties and anonymous financing by Indian as well as foreign companies which can have serious repercussions on the Indian democracy," the plea had argued.
 
The top court, in January last year, had declined to grant an interim stay on the 2018 Electoral Bonds Scheme. It had also sought replies from the Central government and the Election Commission on the NGO's plea.
 
The plea said the Finance Act of 2017 had introduced the use of electoral bonds which is exempt from disclosure under the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951, opening doors to unchecked, unknown funding to political parties. It argued that these amendments have removed the existing cap of 7.5% net profit in the past three years on campaign donations by companies and have legalised anonymous donations.
 
"Even loss-making companies now qualify to make donations of any amount to political parties out of their capital or reserves. Further, it opens up the possibility of companies being brought into existence by unscrupulous elements primarily for routing funds to political parties through anonymous and opaque instruments like electoral bonds," argued the plea.
 
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Comments
S.SuchindranathAiyer
4 months ago
Better late than never. But Election Bonds is only one of a raft of Modiform measures:
(1) Appeasing with doles, increments and pampering of Moslems, Christians, SC, ST, BC, OBC, Judges, Bureaucrats, Police, Politicians, Public Sector and Crony (election bond) Capitalists at the cost of the rest of the Nation. Including the non auditable PM cares.
(2) Bribe diplomacy of giving doles and aid to countries in competition with a far wealthier and more powerful China at the cost of Non VIP Indian citizens and India
(3) Appeasing China by running up a trade deficit with China larger than India’s defense budget and taking advantage of India’s woeful lack of indigenous ability and capacities in governance, science, technology, integrity, quality and engineering to purchase arms from the remaining four Permanent Members of the UN Security Council with scant regard for India’s best interests in terms of economy, value for money, military strategy, tactics and readiness, and,
(4) Most importantly bolstering and formalizing the custom and practice of Corruption established by the British and their successor, the very first Prime Minister of “Independent” India, with the following measures:
:
(a) His Government has created “Election Bonds” to foment political corruption without any accountability and with invisibility.
(b) His Government has made an “anti corruption law” that criminalizes the victim of extortion, the so call “bribe giver” which will ensure that those who are forced to pay sums of hard earned money to Government employees to receive timely services and entitlements from Government Departments and PSUs dare not even complain about it lest they be sent to jail for seven years on “own confession”
(c) His Government retrospectively amended the Foreign Currency Regulation Act to legitimize money laundering by Political Parties.
(d) His Government exempted lawyers from GST so that there may be no obstruction to Judicial corruption”
(e) Exempting Agricultural income from Income Tax to facilitate money laundering by Judges, Bureaucrats, Police and Politicians who, ostensibly and for the record own unbelievably productive farm land through the simple expedient of purchasing crops from genuine farmers and selling it to marketing organizations as the produce of their own fallow land!

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