“Not Voters’ Concern To Know Where Money Comes From In Politics” Centre To SC On Electoral Bonds

The Logical Indian Crew India

April 11th, 2019 / 7:45 PM

AG Electoral Bonds Supreme Court

Image Source: amarujala

On April 11, the Supreme Court reserved its order on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) which challenged the electoral bonds scheme. This PIL was filed by NGO Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR).

The court said that the verdict on this would now be pronounced on April 12. However, one of the main highlights of this court hearing remains to be Attorney General KK Venugopal’s, who is representing the government, comment.

He told the court, “It is not voters’ concern to know where the money comes from. Transparency cannot be looked as a mantra. What are the realities of the country? This is a scheme that will eliminate black money from the election,” as reported by LiveLaw.


“Voters don’t need to know”

The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi asked AG if the bank issues electoral bond, it will have the details of the bond being issued. To this AG replied in negative. To this CJI Gogoi said that in that case, the “entire exercise of trying to fight black money becomes futile”.

AG KK Venugopal had said that the purpose of electoral bonds was to eliminate the use of black money in elections. He called the scheme to be a matter of policy decision of the government and that “no government can be faulted for taking policy decisions.

Prashant Bhushan, who was appearing for the petitioners argued that the electoral bond scheme has done nothing to curb black money. “All that you have done through the scheme is to open a banking channel also to donate anonymously,” said Bhushan.


What are electoral bonds?

Electoral Bond refers to a bond which has its specified face value, mentioned on it like a currency note. These bonds can be used by individuals, institutions and organizations to donate money to political parties. The central government had announced to launch electoral bonds during the budget of the financial year 2017-18. This initiative was taken to ensure transparency in the election funding of the political parties by introducing electoral bonds worth Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lac, Rs 10 lacs and  Rs 1 crore that can be bought from selected branches of State Bank of India by any citizen of India.

Every party which is registered under section 29A of the Representation of the Peoples Act, 1951 and has secured at least 1% votes polled in the most recent Lok Sabha or State election will be eligible to receive fund through electoral bonds. Every donor has to give his KYC details to the bank and the bank shall keep the identity of the buyer secret. The bonds will be available for purchase for a period of 10 days each at the beginning of every quarter. In the year of Lok Sabha elections, 30 days extra will be provided. The political parties would have to inform the election commission about the funds they have collected through bonds. According to this scheme, anyone can buy the donor bond from this bank, which will be encashed within a time limit. These bonds are then redeemable in an account which is owned by one party. One political party will have one account.

But some critics believe that in this rule, the identity of the donors will be kept confidential; so the real results of electoral bonds will not be much encouraging. Actually, there are many grey areas in this because when there is no ceiling on party expenditure and the EC cannot monitor it, how can you be sure that what is coming in is not black money as there is secrecy about the donor. Even foreign money can come and even a dying company can give money now because the clause that insisted that only companies with a minimum 7.5% profit in the last three years could donate has been removed. So, prima facie it appears the scheme cannot really deliver what it wants. Unregulated expenditure, paid news and fake news are major emerging threats to any election as pointed out by the ECI.


Also Read: With Lok Sabha Election 2019 Knocking At Door, Know What Electoral Bonds Are


Contributors

Written by : Shraddha Goled

Edited by : Bharat Nayak

Related Stories

Electoral Bonds Purchased

Rs 3622 Crores Is The Amount Of Electoral Bonds Purchased In March & April 2019

Electoral Bonds

With Lok Sabha Election 2019 Knocking At Door, Know What Electoral Bonds Are

Confused How India Votes? Now A Board Game To Explain The Electoral Process

Government Oil Bonds

Government Confirms In Parliament That It Repaid Oil Bonds Worth Only ₹ 3500 Crore

Electoral Bonds Finance Ministry

Govt ‘Lied’ In Parliament About Not Receiving Letter From EC Over Electoral Bonds

BJP Electoral Trusts

BJP Biggest Beneficiary, Received 87% Of All Donations By Electoral Trusts In 2017-18: ADR Report

Latest on The Logical Indian

World Affairs

Indiscriminate Murders & Rapes: Know All About The Crisis That Has Gripped Sudan

Exclusive

Zomato Launches LGBTQIA+ Friendly Tag In All Restaurants

News

Following Protests, Southern Railway Forced To Withdraw Circular Asking Staff To Talk Only In Hindi & English

News

In A Letter To PM Modi, E. Sreedharan Opposes Delhi Govt’s Proposal To Give Free Rides To Women

Get Inspired

An Open Letter To Dad

News

Govt Reduces Contribution Of Employees & Employers Towards ESI Scheme; May Result In Increased Take-Home Salary

x

Stories that deserve attention, delivered to your inbox!

Handpicked, newsworthy stories which deserve the attention of a rational generation.