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Supreme Court Constructs The Electoral Bond Scheme as Unconstitutional

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Today, the Supreme Court of India, which is known as the apex body of law, has laid out a crucial step in enhancing greater lucidity, displaying political funding methods by removing the validity status of the electoral bond scheme.

The Scheme, which came into existence in 2018, to curb cash donations to political parties by the affluent, has been under the radar of heavy criticism. The court constituted a five-panel bench, headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachaud, delivered two unanimous judgments, responding to the enormous receipts of petitions, talking about the validity and transparency of this scheme. This judgement has been called the apostle holding the political bodies accountable, and open to showcasing their financial books.

As per the Supreme Court, this scheme has violated the Right to Information Act, since the beginning, alongside creating barriers to free speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the constitution.

The State Bank of India(SBI), has been issued a directive from the Election Commission of India, for the issuance of electoral bonds, and has also demanded extensive, and detailed information about the political parties, involved in getting electoral bonds starting from 2019.
Transparency and accountability have been hailed as the key goals to achieve behind this directive by the commission, as it has been mentioned strictly that monitoring, the inflow, and outflow of cash to political parties is the key objectivity in achieving this goal, and maintaining proper financial records should not be a neglect. This move will ensure proper accounting, and documentation is being practiced by the groups involved, and the people who are going to elect their representatives, know whom they are putting in power to voice their concerns in the future.

The Supreme Court has made a few observations in this regard, which are as follows:

1. The electoral bond scheme, in effect should be ruled as unconstitutional due to its directive nature involving infringement on the Public Right to Information Act, about the Political information of politicians.

2. Although, funds made towards contributions to political groups are also subjected to providing and distributing needed resources, for students and other low-income groups, enabling them to become contributing members, this in no way justifies the need for the political entities to demand secrecy of their dealings in any shape or form.

3. The apex court also stated that the electoral scheme would generate advantages for the political parties in many ways, while also pointing out that this scheme cannot be justified as a way of slowing the inflow of funds to these parties.

The BJP has seen these judgments as a groundbreaking setback for them, making it a huge landfall on their reputation, since they are the ones who had brought this scheme to life by introducing the same in 2017, and benefitted significantly from it.

This judgment has proclaimed to be a major watchdog for the Bhartia Janta Party’s political stance, as the call for revaluation, and scrutiny of every kind will be ordered against them,
judging their tactics and way of work.

Source Credit: The Hindu

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