Political parties must disclose details of donations received through electoral bonds till 15 May to EC: Supreme Court

The Supreme court in Friday has given an interim order wherein it has directed all the political parties to disclose all the details and particulars of the donations received till 15 May to the election commission. The name and details of the donors also needs to be disclosed. All the information has to be given to the election commission by 31 May.

SC has also directed the Finance Ministry to make amendments with respect to the extra 5 days given in the month of April and May for the issuance of electoral bond by the State Bank of India. As per the provisions under law only 50 days spread between the months of January, April, July and October are allowed, wherein the electoral bonds can be bought.

“The electoral bonds have tremendous baring to the electoral sanctity of India,” Chief Justice Gogoi said.

The critics of the electoral bond scheme were against it for the sole reason of lack of transparency. They contended that since the donors name is not known any shell companies through series of other companies could make donations and no body would be able to trace it back.

The Attorney General had submitted before the court that the KYC procedure is carried before issuance of bond hence that takes care of the verification of the donor. The Supreme Court bench had made an observation yesterday that the the KYC just verified the donor not the source of money from which donations are made.

The election commission had openly voiced out that it shall support the electoral bond scheme provided the donor’s name is revealed.

The petition against the electoral bonds was filed by the NGO – Association of Democratic Reforms through the Activist Prashant Bhushan. He had bought to the light of the court the amendments to made under various law to pave a smooth path for the implementation of the scheme.

The cap to donations made by the companies has been done away with and the donations made by the electoral bonds need not be disclosed to the election commission.

The court has today made it very clear that the election commission needs to be given full disclosure with respect to donors and donations made.

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