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SC agrees to listing of electoral bonds PIL

Deccan Chronicle.| Pramod Kumar

Published on: April 5, 2022 | Updated on: April 5, 2022

Without indicating a date, CJI Ramana said that if it were not for Covid, he would have heard all of this already

Heading a bench comprising Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Hima Kohli, Chief Justice N.V. Ramana agreed to list the matter as lawyer Prashant Bhushan mentioned the report. (Representational Image/ PTI)

Heading a bench comprising Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Hima Kohli, Chief Justice N.V. Ramana agreed to list the matter as lawyer Prashant Bhushan mentioned the report. (Representational Image/ PTI)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to list for hearing a public interest plea (PIL) by the NGO Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), challenging the electoral bond scheme for funding political parties, after the petitioner referred to a media report alleging that a business house was intimidated to fund the ruling party through these bonds.

Heading a bench comprising Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Hima Kohli, Chief Justice N.V. Ramana agreed to list the matter as lawyer Prashant Bhushan mentioned the report.

Without indicating a date, CJI Ramana said, "Were it not for Covid, I would have heard all of this already."

Bhushan had sought an urgent listing on October 4 last year, seeking a direction to the Centre not to open any further window for the sale of the electoral bonds during the pendency of the matter due to alleged lack of transparency.

ADR, which monitors the criminal antecedents of candidates, had moved an interim application in March last year before the Assembly elections in West Bengal and Assam to stop sale of the electoral bonds, claiming that parties were being funded illegally through shell companies.

It had alleged that the ruling party had received more than 60 per cent of total electoral bonds in the audit of the parties in two years of 2017-18 and 2018-19.

On January 20 last year, the top court had refused to stay the electoral bonds notified by the government on January 2, 2018. The NGO noted that even the Election Commission and the Reserve Bank of India had in 2017 objected to the electoral bonds, advising against their issue as a mode of donation to the political parties.

The NGO contended that almost 99 per cent of the bonds were purchased in the denominations of Rs 1 crore and Rs 10 lakh, which only shows that it was not individuals but large corporations that were re buying them to receive kickbacks from the government.

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