The Supreme Court dismissed a plea filed by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), that sought to halt the sale of Electoral Bonds just ahead of elections in four states and one union territory.
"...In light of the scheme introduced in 2018 and the fact they have been released in 2018, 2019, and 2020 without impediment, we do not see any reason to stay the issuance at this stage," the bench led by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said while dismissing the plea. Certain safeguards are already in place, the court further added.
The Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) had submitted that there are serious apprehensions that further sale of the EBs would increase "illegal and illicit funding of political parties through shell companies".
Anonymous electoral bonds are "legalized corruption" and paves the way for shell companies to essentially offer bribes to political parties, advocate Prashant Bhushan, who represents ADR, had said.
Meanwhile, the EC told the apex court that it opposed the stay on the sale of bonds but sought "transparency". "Without electoral bonds, we will go back to the earlier cash system, which was unaccounted for. Bonds is one step forward, as all transactions are through banking channels," senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, who was representing the EC had said.