Electoral Bonds Banned by Supreme Court Order

Electoral Bonds Banned by Supreme Court Order

Directs Banks to cease issuing EBs
Udaipur Times Supreme Court Bans Electoral Bonds Issuance by Banks
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Supreme Court, the apex judicial institution in India has struck down the validity of the Electoral Bonds, which has been classified as a controversial political funding tool. Calling it unconstitutional, the Supreme Court has directed Banks to stop issuance of such anonymous Bonds with immediate effect, as they are violative of the freedom of speech and right to information under the Indian Constitution.

The five judge bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, was supposed to deliver its verdict on multiple petitions challenging the validity of the EBs. The verdict, which has come just some weeks ahead of the Lok Sabha General Elections, might not jar the ruling party's campaign. The bench delivered two separate verdicts on the pleas challenging the scheme, but both were unanimous.

The Supreme Court has ordered the State Bank of India to cease issuing Electoral Bonds immediately and has also instructed the Bank to furnish details of EBs issued since April 12, 2019 and the beneficiaries thereto. The report has to be submitted to the Election Commission by 6 March and the EC has been asked to publish details of such by 13 March.

The Supreme Court said that EBs are not the only means of curbing black money funding for Elections. The 5 Judge Bench of the Supreme Court, in its order as quoted by Live Law said, "There are other alternatives which substantially fulfil the purpose and impact the right to information minimally when compared to the impact of electoral bonds on the right to information". It also said that the Electoral Bonds scheme will help party in power to gain advantage. "There is also a legitimate possibility that financial contributions to a political party would lead to a quid pro quo arrangement because of the close nexus between money and politics," the SC ruling said.

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