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Business News/ News / India/  SC to pronounce verdict on scrapping validity of electoral bonds scheme today
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SC to pronounce verdict on scrapping validity of electoral bonds scheme today

The electoral bond 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.

SC to deliver verdict on validity of electoral bonds scheme on April 18. Premium
SC to deliver verdict on validity of electoral bonds scheme on April 18.

The Supreme Court of India will pronounce its verdict on Thursday on petitions challenging the scrapping the validity of electoral bonds scheme introduced by the central government on January 2, 2018 as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties to bring transparency in political funding. 

Last year, a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud had reserved its verdict in the matter on November 2. The hearing commenced on October 31, 2023 by bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna, B R Gavai, J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra. 

Congress leader Jaya Thakur, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and NGO Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) filed petitions in the top court challenging the validity of electoral bonds scheme. 

During the hearing, the apex court had underscored the need for reducing the cash component in the electoral process. 

Since the Election Commission and the Center had brought up "weighty issues" that had "tremendous bearing on the sanctity of the electoral process in the country," the Supreme Court had declined to stay the electoral bonds scheme in April 2019 and had made it clear that it would give the pleas a thorough hearing.

The scheme allows purchase of electoral bonds by any citizen of India or entity incorporated or established in the country. An individual can buy electoral bonds, either singly or jointly with other individuals.

Electoral bonds can only be obtained by political parties that are registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and that have garnered at least 1% of the votes cast in the most recent Lok Sabha or state legislative assembly elections.

The notification also stated that electoral bonds shall be encashed by an eligible political party only though an account with an authorised bank. 

The State Bank of India (SBI) has recently refused to disclose details of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for issuing to its branches regarding the sale and redemption of bonds under the now-scrapped scheme. 

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Published: 18 Apr 2024, 07:18 AM IST
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