SC Issues Govt Notice in Petition Seeking Stay on Electoral Bonds
With the announcement of the dates for 2019 general election, this is a significant development which will impact political party financing.
With the announcement of the dates for 2019 general election, this is a significant development which will impact political party financing.(Photo: The Quint)

SC Issues Govt Notice in Petition Seeking Stay on Electoral Bonds

The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the government on a petition filed by Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) which sought a stay on the Central government's Electoral Bond Scheme 2018. The petition also seeks directions from the Supreme Court to strike down amendments introduced through Finance Act 2017. The Supreme Court will examine the issue on 26 March 2019. With the announcement of the dates for 2019 general election, this is a significant development which will impact political party financing.

Also Read : Exclusive: Are SBI & Finance Ministry Sharing Electoral Bond Data?

Appearing on the behalf of ADR, Prashant Bhushan had argued in the application that in the run-up to the 2019 general elections, it is "expected that enormous amount of corporate funding would be received by political parties in April and May and this would play a critical role in the elections."

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Also Read : BJP Receives Rs 210 Cr Out of the Rs 222 Cr in Electoral Bonds

In the past, the Election Commission has expressed reservations on the issue of electoral bonds. In an exclusive report published in April 2018, The Quint had investigated the existence of hidden alphanumeric numbers on electoral bonds which allowed for a link to be tracked between donors and political parties. The Quint has also reported on how BJP has bagged 95% of electoral bonds.

Reacting to The Quint's investigation, Vipin Malik, a former RBI Director had said that "it's illegal" if the electoral bonds are being controlled by the government. You can read more of The Quint's coverage on the issue here.

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