THE Communist Party of India (Marxist) has moved the Supreme Court seeking an urgent hearing of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Electoral Bonds Scheme.
The CPI(M), in its plea, has contended that the matter deals with the very essence of democracy, “the right to know and have information of who, rather which entities/corporations are funding our political parties, potential quid pro quos, corruption, etc.”
A batch of petitions challenging the electoral bond scheme has been pending before the top court since 2018. Since then it has refused an interim stay of the scheme on two occasions. As recently as on March 26, a bench led by the then CJI SA Bobde refused to stay the scheme on a plea filed by the NGO ‘Association For Democratic Reforms (ADR).
Contending that the transferring of large amounts of money through anonymous channels to fund political parties undermined the very essence of democracy, the plea says:
“It is important for a functioning democracy to have a transparent system of political funding. Since the adoption of the Electoral Bonds Scheme in 2018 pursuant to the abovementioned amendments, there has been a massive amount anonymous donations which challenges the very core of our democratic functioning”.
It says more than Rs. 7000 Crores of anonymous funding of the electoral process has already occurred. The sale of electoral bonds was very high from the 7th to 10th Phases, which coincided with the general elections in India.
During the most recent (16th) phase of selling electoral bonds, (which coincided with the State and UT elections of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, West Bengal, Assam and Kerala), the sale was worth ₹695.34 crore, the plea says.
The plea has been filed through Advocate-on-Record Shadan Farasat.