January 20, 2020

SC Declines Immediate Stay On Electoral Bonds Scheme

[ By Bobby Anthony ]


The Supreme Court has refused to consider a plea seeking an immediate stay on the Electoral Bond Scheme.

However, a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde and comprising Justice B R Gavai and Justice Surya Kant has asked the Election Commission to file a response within two weeks.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for an NGO, sought immediate stay on the scheme in the backdrop of Delhi elections slated on February 8. He insisted that the scheme has operational illegally and thousands of crores of illicit money will be funneled through this scheme, before the Delhi elections.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had agreed to hear a plea in January 2020 seeking a stay on the Electoral Bond Scheme notified by the central government on January 2, 2018.

Appearing for an NGO called Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) Advocate Prashant Bhushan had argued before a bench headed by the Chief Justice that the application has put on record objections by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and other authorities about the Electoral Bonds scheme which were ignored by the government and have been recently disclosed through an RTI.

Bhushan insisted that around Rs 6,000 crore was collected under the scheme, which was red-flagged by the RBI and the Election Commission.

He equated scheme with accepting bribes, money laundering and channelization of black money.

The application emphasized that the scheme has opened the floodgates to unlimited corporate donations to political parties and anonymous financing by Indian as well as foreign companies, potentially having serious repercussions on the Indian democracy.

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