In April, Supreme Court had said there wasn’t enough time before Lok Sabha polls for a detailed examination of electoral bonds.

New Delhi: With a fresh round of state assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana announced Saturday, the stalemate over the legal validity of the controversial electoral bond scheme is only expected to get extended.

The Supreme Court had, in April, declined to give its final ruling on the matter, saying there wasn’t much time left for a detailed examination of the issue before the Lok Sabha elections. It had asked political parties to submit donor details to the Election Commission in a sealed cover by 30 May.

“All that we would like to state for the present is that the rival contentions give rise to weighty issues which have a tremendous bearing on the sanctity of the electoral process in the country,” the court had said in its interim judgment.

“Such weighty issues would require an in-depth hearing which cannot be concluded and the issues answered within the limited time that is available before the process of funding through the Electoral Bonds comes to a closure, as per the schedule noted earlier.”

Current status

While the political parties have submitted donor details to the EC as directed by the court — even though the BJP and the Congress flouted the 30 May deadline — nothing has been done with the submissions so far.

The EC had, in its affidavit to the apex court, argued in favour of making details of donors public, but it is not doing so despite being in possession of these details due to the Supreme Court’s injunction to submit the details in sealed covers.

“We are just custodians of the submissions made by the parties… We cannot even see what the parties have submitted until the court directs us to,” said an EC official who did not wish to be named.

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