Supreme Court declares Electoral Bonds Unconstitutional? | LawWiser

01/04/2020 By LawWiser

In a major development, a 5-judge bench of the Supreme court has ruled last week that Union’s 2018 Electoral bonds program was unconstitutional on the concerns on political fundraising and electoral transparency and how these may affect free and fair elections in India.
They held that it was violative of Article 19(1)(a) since it violates the right to information. And CJI Chandrachud also pointed out that it is not the sole way to curb black money.
So, lets talk about what is the Electoral Bonds scheme. The same was introduced in 2018 by a notification released by the Ministry of Finance in January 2018 and allowed specific branches of State Bank of India to offer electoral bonds for ten days each year in months of January, April, July and October in the denominations of thousand, 10 thousand, lakh, ten lakh and 1 crore. The most important element the incorporated in the scheme was to maintain the anonymity of the purchaser except the SBI.
The communist party of India, common cause and the Association for democratic reforms filed cases in the Supreme court claiming the program permitted” non transparency in political funding” and authorized election malpractice on a huge scale.

The bench directed on the prohibition on the issuance of Electoral bonds. SBI is also asked to provide the m on the official website.
Based on who is the owner, political parties that have not yet cashed the bonds within their 15-day validity period will return thee same to the bank and the return the same to the purchaser and will be reimbursed to the buyer’s account.

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