ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Fitting Adjudication on the Opaque Electoral Bond Scheme

The electoral bond scheme in its present form legitimises corruption and promotes crony capitalism, with its thrust on quid pro quo. A constitutional bench has unanimously adjudicated to stop issuing electoral bonds and submit details of the purchased electoral bonds to the Election Commission of India. It did not deal with the accusation of misusing the money bill provision to pre-empt debate and voting in the Rajya Sabha.

The electoral bond scheme (EBS) which was introduced as a money bill in budget 2017–18 by amending several provisions in the Companies Act, 2013, the Representation of the People (RoP) Act, 1951, Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA), 2010 and Income Tax (IT) Act, 1961 must rank as the most flagrant violation in the electoral process, as it allows the corporates to remain anonymous while making an unlimited donation to their preferred parties (ADR 2022). The case came up twice before the Supreme Court when no stay was given to the issue of electoral bonds. Given the complexity of the issues involved, this article attempts to discuss (i) the nuances and concerns of the scheme, (ii) the importance of the right to information in a liberal democracy, (iii) the role of the Supreme Court in ensuring free and fair election, and (iv) the historic decision of the Supreme Court. 

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Published On : 19th Apr, 2024

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