Electoral Bonds to Seriously Impact Transparency: EC Tells SC
Image used for representation.
Image used for representation.(Photo: Erum Gour/The Quint)

Electoral Bonds to Seriously Impact Transparency: EC Tells SC

The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Wednesday, 27 March, filed an affidavit saying electoral bonds and removal of cap on corporate funding would have "serious impact" on transparency regarding funding of political parties.

This affidavit is in response to the petitions challenging the scheme in Supreme Court. The EC pointed to two letters written by the watchdog to the government, expressing reservation on this scheme.

“Any donation received by a political party through an electoral bond has been taken out from the ambit of reporting. It would be difficult to ascertain if the political parties received donations from government companies or foreign sources,” the Election Commission said.

Also Read : Elections Are Coming – and There’s a Problem with Electoral Bonds

The petitions challenging the issuance of electoral bonds by the government will be heard by the Supreme Court on 2 April. It will be heard by a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna.

One of petitioners, Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR)'s advocate Prashant Bhushan told the court that 95 percent of the electoral bonds sold so far have been in favour of one ruling political party. He called it a form of kickback, before the elections.

It said amendments carried out in relevant Acts have “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 application further said: "Electoral bonds are being made available for a large number of days in three months leading to general elections in the country scheduled to be held...in April-May 2019 to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha.”

Also Read : SC to Hear Petitions Challenging Electoral Bonds Scheme on 2 April

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