The government has told the Supreme Court that anonymity should be maintained in the electoral bond scheme to protect donors and recipients right to privacy.
The government’s statement came during a hearing on electoral bonds in the Supreme Court.The petition had challenged the validity of the Electoral Bonds scheme on the grounds that (a)It keeps the identity of the donor absolutely confidential and (b)would enable corporate houses to anonymously donate their unaccounted cash to political parties.
The government stressed on two issues which are (a)that electoral bonds were introduced for the elimination of black money and (b)that it was a matter of policy and no government can be blamed for trying it out. Further,the Government has said that the court should leave the decision on whether to continue with the scheme to the next government.
Earlier,the Election Commission had also expressed concern at legislative changes that allowed the use of electoral bonds for anonymous funding of elections and had said that this would have serious repercussions on the transparency of the electoral process.
EC had also said that the amendment made to the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act,2010 allows parties to receive funding from foreign companies that own a majority stake in an Indian company.This would allow unchecked foreign funding of political parties and could lead to Indian policies being heavily influenced by foreign companies.
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.