Source: 
TNIE
https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2024/Apr/14/sc-to-deliver-verdict-on-validity-of-electoral-bonds-scheme-on-april-18
Author: 
PTI
Date: 
14.04.2024
City: 
New Delhi

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud had on November 2 last year reserved its verdict in the matter.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to pronounce its verdict on Thursday on a batch of petitions challenging the validity of the electoral bonds scheme.

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud had on November 2 last year reserved its verdict in the matter.

The scheme, which was notified by the government on January 2, 2018, was pitched as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties as part of efforts to bring in transparency in political funding.

According to the provisions of the scheme, electoral bonds may be purchased by any citizen of India or entity incorporated or established in the country.

An individual can buy electoral bonds, either singly or jointly with other individuals.

Only the political parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and which secured not less than 1 per cent of the votes polled in the last elections to the Lok Sabha or a state legislative assembly are eligible to receive electoral bonds.

According to the notification, electoral bonds shall be encashed by an eligible political party only through an account with an authorised bank.

In April 2019, the apex court had declined to stay the electoral bonds scheme and made it clear that it would accord an in-depth hearing on the pleas as the Centre and the Election Commission had raised "weighty issues" that had "tremendous bearing on the sanctity of the electoral process in the country".

The Constitution bench, also comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna, B R Gavai, J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, had on October 31 last year commenced hearing arguments on the four petitions, including those filed by Congress leader Jaya Thakur, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and NGO Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

During the hearing in the matter, the apex court had underscored the need for reducing the cash component in the electoral process.

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