Supreme Court To Deliver Verdict On Validity Of Electoral Bonds Scheme Today

Supreme Court To Deliver Verdict On Validity Of Electoral Bonds Scheme Today

In November last year, a 5-judge Constitution Bench headed by CJI D.Y. Chandrachud and comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai, JB Pardiwala, and Manoj Misra had reserved its verdict in the matter after hearing the arguments for three days in a row.

IANSUpdated: Thursday, February 15, 2024, 08:48 AM IST
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Supreme Court To Deliver Verdict On Validity Of Electoral Bonds Scheme Today | PTI

New Delhi, February 14: The Supreme Court will deliver on Thursday its verdict on pleas challenging the validity of the electoral bonds scheme. In November last year, a 5-judge Constitution Bench headed by CJI D.Y. Chandrachud and comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai, JB Pardiwala, and Manoj Misra had reserved its verdict in the matter after hearing the arguments for three days in a row.

The petitioners before the apex court had argued that the Electoral Bond scheme violates the citizen's fundamental right to information under Article 19 (1) and it enables backdoor lobbying and promotes corruption and eliminates level playing field for political parties in Opposition.

Responding to the challenge, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta -- the second highest law officer of the Centre -- had contended that the scheme is intended to reduce cash in the electoral process. S-G Mehta asserted that the Union government cannot know the details of donations made through Electoral Bonds.

Placing a letter signed by the chairman of SBI on record, he had said that the details cannot be accessed without a court order. During the hearing, CJI Chandrachud had said that there are five important considerations: "1. The need to reduce the cash element in the electoral process; 2. The need to encourage the use of authorised banking channels; 3. Incentivising use of banking channels -- by confidentiality; 4. Transparency; 5. Legitimisation of kickbacks."

Further, the CJI had remarked that the scheme should not become a legitimisation of kickbacks and quid pro quo between the power centers and people who are benefactors of that power.

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