Supreme Court Directs SBI to Furnish Details of donors of Electoral Bonds in India by 12th March 2024

Supreme Court Directs SBI to Furnish Details of donors of Electoral Bonds

The Supreme Court of India, in a huge development, has directed the State Bank of India (SBI) to furnish detailed information regarding electoral bonds by 12th March 2024. This directive comes in the mid growing concerns about transparency and accountability in political funding in the country.

Electoral bonds have been a topic of debate since their introduction, with proponents arguing for increased transparency and critics raising concerns about potential loopholes in the system. SC directed Election comission to publish the details on thir website by 15th March 2024.

Background of Electoral Bonds:

Electoral bonds were introduced by the government in 2018 as a way to promote transparency in political funding. The bonds allow individuals and corporations to donate money to political parties without sharing their public informations. These bonds can be purchased from specified branches of the SBI and are then given to political parties, who can encash them in designated accounts.

The government claimed that electoral bonds will help hinder the use of black money in politics and ensure a level playing field for all political parties.

But, since their introduction, electoral bonds have faced criticism from various quarters. Critics argue that the anonymity provided by these bonds undermines transparency in political funding. They raise concerns that the lack of disclosure requirements could lead to increased influence of vested interests in the political process. Moreover, the absence of any limit on the amount of money that can be donated through electoral bonds further exacerbates these concerns.

Supreme Court’s Intervention:

The Supreme Court’s intervention in the matter of electoral bonds comes in response to a petition filed by an ADR and other parties, which sought greater transparency in political funding. The court’s directive to the SBI to provide details of electoral bonds aims to shed light on the extent and nature of political donations made through this mechanism. This move is seen as a step towards ensuring greater accountability in the political process.

The court’s decision to scrutinize electoral bonds is significant in light of the upcoming elections in various states and the general elections scheduled for the future. The transparency and fairness of the electoral process are essential for upholding the principles of democracy. By delving into the issue of electoral bonds, the Supreme Court is reaffirming its commitment to safeguarding the integrity of the electoral process.

Implications of SC Directive:

The Supreme Court’s directive to the SBI to give details of electoral bonds is likely to have far-reaching implications. Firstly, it will give valuable insights into the sources of political funding in the country. By revealing the identities of donors and the amounts contributed, this information can help in assessing the influence of money power in politics.

Secondly, the scrutiny of electoral bonds could lead to a reevaluation of the existing legal framework governing political funding. The court’s intervention may prompt policymakers to consider reforms aimed at enhancing transparency and accountability in this domain. This could include measures such as mandatory disclosure of donors’ identities and contribution limits.

Additionally, the Supreme Court’s decision may also have political ramifications. Political parties will be closely seeing the developments surrounding electoral bonds, as any revelations regarding their funding sources could impact their public image and electoral prospects. Additionally, the court’s intervention will reignite the debate on electoral reforms and the need for comprehensive legislation to address the lacunae in the current system.

Conclusion: The Supreme Court’s directive to the SBI to furnish details of electoral bonds by 12th March 2024 shows a huge development in the ongoing debate over political funding in India. By throwing a light on the opaque world of electoral finance, the court is taking a important step towards ensuring greater transparency and accountability in the political process.