8 December 2022

New Delhi: The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Friday a batch of pleas challenging laws permitting the funding of political parties through the electoral bond scheme.

Electoral bonds have been pitched as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties as part of efforts to bring transparency to political funding. A bench of Justices B R Ga vai and BV Nagarathna is likely to take up the PILS by NGO, Association for Democratic Reforms, Communist Party of In dia ( Marxist ), and other petitioners. Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, on April 5 had mentioned the matter before the then CJI N V Ra mana saying the issue was critical and needed an urgent hearing. The top court had agreed to list the NGO’s plea for hearing but it did not come up before any court.

Earlier, Bhushan had sought an urgent listing of the PIL from the apex court on October 4 last year seeking a direction to the Centre not to open any further window for the sale of electoral bonds during the pendency of a case pertaining to funding of political parties and alleged lack of transparency in their accounts.

electoral bond scheme today
electoral bond scheme today

The NGO, which had filed the PIL in 2017 on the alleged issue of corruption and subversion of democracy through illicit and foreign funding of political parties and lack of transparency in the accounts of all political parties , had filed an interim application in March this year before the assembly polls in West Bengal and Assam seeking that window for sale of electoral bonds be not reopened.

The NGO had claimed that there is a serious apprehension that any further sale of electoral bonds before the upcoming Assembly elections, including in West Bengal and Assam, would further increase illegal and illicit funding of political parties through shell companies.

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