The Supreme Court of India has set a date of April 11 to hear arguments on whether to refer a series of petitions challenging the government’s Electoral Bond scheme to a Constitution bench. The Electoral Bond scheme, introduced by the government in 2018, allows for anonymous funding to political parties.
Petitioners have challenged the scheme on several grounds, including that it opens the door to illegal funding of political parties, and violates principles of transparency and accountability in the election process. The Supreme Court had previously issued interim orders that the scheme should not be used for funding political parties until further orders.
The government, however, has defended the scheme, claiming that it promotes transparency in political funding and ensures that donors are not victimized for supporting a particular political party. The government has also argued that the scheme is an attempt to clean up the electoral process by reducing the reliance on black money.
The Electoral Bond scheme allows individuals and companies to purchase bonds from specified banks and donate them to political parties of their choice. The bonds can be bought for any value between INR 1,000 and INR 10 crore, and can be redeemed only by political parties that are registered with the Election Commission of India.
The scheme has faced criticism from opposition parties and civil society groups who argue that it undermines democracy and enables the ruling party to receive large amounts of undisclosed donations. Several reports have suggested that a majority of the bonds sold under the scheme have been bought by corporate entities, raising concerns about the influence of big business on the political process.
The Electoral Bond scheme has been a controversial topic since its introduction in 2018, with many concerned about the lack of transparency and potential for illegal funding. The upcoming hearing in the Supreme Court will be crucial in determining the future of the scheme and its impact on the Indian electoral process. The decision of the court will have far-reaching consequences for the transparency and accountability of political funding in India, and will be watched closely by political parties, civil society groups, and the general public alike.