SBI electoral bonds case: SC Bar Association writes to President Murmu, says ‘if donors are singled out …’

The Supreme Court Bar Association and the All India Bar Association, led by Adish C Aggarwala, wrote to President Droupadi Murmu urging against releasing electoral bond data, citing concerns of corporates facing victimization and chilling effect on donations and democratic process.

Livemint
First Published12 Mar 2024
The bar body leader urged Murmu to seek presidential reference in the electoral bonds case, so that the entire proceedings could be reheard and complete justice could be done to 'Parliament of India, political parties, corporates and the general public'.
The bar body leader urged Murmu to seek presidential reference in the electoral bonds case, so that the entire proceedings could be reheard and complete justice could be done to ’Parliament of India, political parties, corporates and the general public’.(PTI)

The Supreme Court Bar Association wrote to President Droupadi Murmu on Tuesday as the State Bank of India geared up to release electoral bond data. SCBA chief Adish C Aggarwala urged the top official to seek presidential reference of the apex court judgement as divulging details could make corporates vulnerable to victimisation. The assertion was echoed by the All India Bar Association — also headed by Aggarwala — in a separate missive to the President.

“Disclosing such sensitive information, that too retrospectively, will result in chilling effect in corporate donations and participation in the democratic process…The possibility of them being singled out by those parties that had received less contribution from them, and harassed cannot be ruled out if the names of corporates and their quantum of contributions to various parties are revealed. This will be reneging on the promise given to them while accepting their voluntary contributions,” the SCBA chief said. 

The two organisations urged Murmu to seek presidential reference in the electoral bonds case so the entire proceedings could be reheard. According to Article 143 of the Indian Constitution, the President has the power to consult the Supreme Court if a question of law or fact has arises.

ALSO READ: SBI submits electoral bonds data to Election Commission: A timeline of what has happened so far

Aggarwala also contended that the release of all sensitive information would shatter "the reputation the nation enjoys in the international arena".

“Disclosing such sensitive information, that too retrospectively, will result in chilling effect in corporate donations and participation in the democratic process,” he added.

The State Bank of India submitted the details of entities which had purchased the now-scrapped electoral bonds and political parties which received them to the Election Commission on Tuesday evening. The development came in response to a Supreme Court order that called for SBI to disclose the details by close of business hours on March 12.

(With inputs from agencies)

 

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