No Ban on Electoral Bonds for Now, as SC Asks for Details on Donations in Sealed Cover

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New Delhi: All political parties must submit details of donations received through electoral bonds to the Election Commission in a sealed cover before May 30, the Supreme Court ordered on Friday morning. A three-justice bench consisting of CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Sanjeev Khanna and Justice Deepak Gupta has over the last few days been hearing a handful of pleas that oppose the Narendra Modi government’s electoral bond scheme.

In its application before the Supreme Court, the Association for Democratic Reforms, a New Delhi-based NGO, had sought a stay on the scheme. The organisation noted that various amendments made with regard to electoral campaign financing had “opened the floodgates to unlimited corporate donations to political parties and anonymous financing by Indian as well as foreign companies which can have serious repercussions on the Indian democracy”.

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The Modi government on the other hand defended the scheme in the court, arguing that it was a “a pioneering step” to bring poll reforms “ensuring transparency” and “accountability” in political funding. In addition, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal had said in court that it is “not a voter’s concern” where political parties’ money comes from.

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