Nation

SC strikes down electoral bonds scheme for political funding

Supreme Court has struck down the electoral bonds scheme for political funding. A 5-judge bench of the apex court said that the scheme violates the citizens’ right to information. Supreme Court also asked State Bank of India to stop issuing these bonds at once and provide details of donations made through this mode to the Election Commission of India. The apex court held that the stated objective of fighting black money and maintaining the confidentiality of donors cannot defend the scheme. Electoral bonds are not the only way to curb black money, the supreme court said.

The scheme, which was notified by the government on January 2, 2018, was pitched as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties as part of efforts to bring in transparency in political funding. Only the political parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and which secured not less than 1 per cent of the votes polled in the last elections to the Lok Sabha or a state legislative assembly were eligible to receive electoral bonds.

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