Electoral bonds can be issued ahead of assembly polls, rules Supreme Court

 Electoral bonds can be issued ahead of assembly polls, rules Supreme Court

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SC on Friday rejected a plea seeking a stay on issuance of electoral bonds in April ahead of the assembly elections in five states. The bench of CJI SA Bobde said there are adequate safeguards in place

NEW DELHI

The Supreme Court, on Friday, upheld the arguments of the Centre and Election Commission and refused to put a stay on the sale of Electoral Bonds. The development comes just days ahead of the Assembly elections in five states. The judgment was delivered by a bench of the top court headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde.

A plea in the case was filed by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), which sought interim direction to bar the sale of Electoral Bonds in view of the upcoming State Assembly elections in West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu & Puducherry.

In the plea, ADR raised apprehensions that further sale of Electoral Bonds before the Assembly polls in five states ‘would further increase illegal and illicit funding of political parties through shell companies’.

While delivering the verdict, Bobde said that ‘in the light of the scheme introduced in 2018’, the Electoral Bonds have ‘been released in 2018 2019 2020 without impediment’. “We do not see any reason to stay the issuance at this stage,” he said.

In its arguments, the Centre had told the bench, which also comprised of Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian that bonds would be issued between April 1 to 10.

Agencies

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