Team Blitz India
NEW DELHI: The pleas challenging the validity of the electoral bond scheme for political funding of parties will now be adjudicated upon by a five-judge Constitution Bench, the Supreme Court has said.
“In view of the importance of issue raised, and with regard to Article 145(4) of the Constitution of India, the matter be placed before a Bench of at least five judges,” Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud pronounced.
The court said the case would, as scheduled in an earlier hearing on October 10, be listed on October 31.
The electoral bond scheme, which was notified by the Government on January 2, 2018, was pitched as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties as part of efforts to bring in transparency in political funding.
According to the provisions of the scheme, electoral bonds may be purchased by a person who is a citizen of India or entity incorporated or established in India. An individual can buy electoral bonds, either singly or jointly with other individuals.
Several petitions before the Supreme Court claimed that such an anonymous route of funding amounted to legitimising bribery as corporates could fund the party in power in a state or Centre as a matter of quid pro quo.
Last week, a 3-judge Bench led by CJI Chandrachud had agreed to hear the petitions – which were filed in 2017 – after the petitioners urged that the matter be heard before the upcoming General Elections.