In SC, govt. defends electoral bonds

  1. The Government has opposed in the Supreme Court on the concerns raised by the Election Commission on issuing electoral bonds.
  2. Earlier,theElection Commission of India had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court.It said that the introduction of electoral bonds and the removal of the cap on corporate funding by the government will have a serious impact on the transparency of political funding.
  3. Government has defended the electoral bonds scheme in the apex court as (a)Electoral bonds have been introduced to promote transparency in funding and donations received by political parties (b)The scheme envisages building a transparent system of acquiring bonds with validated KYC and an audit trail and (c)The electoral bonds will prompt donors to take the banking route to donate,with their identity captured by the issuing authority.This will ensure transparency and accountability and is a big step towards electoral reform.
  4. Further,the Government has said that under the old system a massive amount of political donations were made in cash by individuals or corporates using illicit means of funding and unaccounted black money was pumped in for financing elections.
  5. Electoral bonds are bearer instrument in the nature of a promissory note and an interest-free banking instrument.A citizen of India or a body incorporated in India is eligible to purchase the bond.Electoral bonds can be purchased for any value in multiples of ₹1,000, ₹10,000, ₹10 lakh, and ₹1 crore from any of the specified branches of the State Bank of India.
  6. Every party that is registered under section 29A of the Representation of the Peoples Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) and has secured at least one per cent of the votes polled in the most recent Lok Sabha or State election will be allotted a verified account by the Election Commission of India. Electoral bond transactions can be made only via this account.The bond have to be encashed within 15 days.