Unbonded: On the striking down of the Electoral Bond Scheme by the Supreme Court:

Unbonded: On the striking down of the Electoral Bond Scheme by the Supreme Court:

News Analysis   /   Unbonded: On the striking down of the Electoral Bond Scheme by the Supreme Court:

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Published on: February 17, 2024

The Hindu: Published on 16th Feb

 

Why in News:

The news pertains to the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Electoral Bond Scheme. This scheme was introduced by the government to enable donors to contribute to political parties anonymously through bonds purchased from designated banks. The court's verdict has significant implications for political funding transparency and accountability in India. It addresses concerns regarding the opacity of political funding and its potential impact on democratic processes.

 

Electoral Bond:

Electoral bonds were introduced in 2018 as a means to clean up political funding and bring transparency into the system. However, critics argued that these bonds allowed for anonymous donations, thereby undermining transparency and accountability in political financing. The scheme enabled corporations and individuals to donate to political parties without disclosing their identities publicly, leading to concerns about potential quid-pro-quo arrangements and corruption in the political system.

 

Supreme Court Verdict:

The Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Electoral Bond Scheme is significant as it reflects the judiciary's role in upholding transparency and accountability in political processes. The court observed that the scheme lacked transparency and could potentially be misused for illegal activities such as money laundering and channelling black money into politics. By invalidating the scheme, the court has reaffirmed the importance of transparency in political funding and the need to prevent undue influence of money in democratic processes.

 

Impact on Indian Politics:

Transparency and Accountability: The verdict is likely to enhance transparency and accountability in political funding by ensuring that donations to political parties are made transparently and in compliance with legal requirements.

Level Playing Field: With the Electoral Bond Scheme struck down, political parties may need to rely on more transparent methods of fundraising, thereby levelling the playing field for all parties and reducing the influence of money power in politics.

Political Dynamics: The decision could lead to a shift in the dynamics of political funding, with parties exploring alternative sources of financing and possibly reducing their dependence on corporate donations.

Public Confidence: The verdict is likely to restore public confidence in the integrity of the electoral process by addressing concerns about the influence of unaccounted money in politics.

Legal Precedent: The Supreme Court's decision sets a legal precedent for future electoral financing schemes, emphasizing the importance of transparency and accountability in political funding.

 

Conclusion: Overall, the striking down of the Electoral Bond Scheme by the Supreme Court is a significant development that is expected to have far-reaching implications for Indian politics, particularly in terms of transparency, accountability, and the integrity of the electoral process.

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