The Supreme Court decided to refer a group of petitions challenging the electoral bond scheme for political party funding to a five-judge Constitution bench. The bench, led by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud, received an urgent application requesting a conclusive judgment. The matter is set to be heard on October 30.
What are Electoral Bonds?
- Electoral bonds are introduced as an alternative to providing cash donations to political parties. This change aims to make political funding more transparent and accountable.
Urgent Referral: The Supreme Court received an urgent application requesting a larger bench to provide a conclusive judgment on the validity of the electoral bond scheme.
- Date of Hearing: The matter is scheduled for a hearing on October 30, which was the previously fixed date for the hearing.
- Previous Submissions: Earlier, lawyer Prashant Bhushan had emphasized the need for adjudication before the scheme’s implementation in the 2024 general elections. The court had decided to conduct a final hearing based on these submissions.
- Pending PILs: There are four Public Interest Litigations (PILs) pending on this issue, indicating the public interest and concern regarding the electoral bond scheme.
Concerns Raised: One of the PIL petitioners had stated in March that a substantial amount, totaling Rs 12,000 crore, had been paid to political parties through electoral bonds. Furthermore, it was noted that a significant portion of this amount had been directed to a major political party, raising concerns about fairness and transparency.