Electoral bonds case: SC asks ECI for data on funds received by political parties in 2 weeks
PTC News Desk: The Supreme Court has instructed the Election Commission of India (ECI) to provide updated data on the funds received by all political parties through electoral bonds within two weeks, reserving the verdict.
The order to submit the data in a sealed packet within two weeks was passed by a bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud, along with Justices Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai, JB Pardiwala, and Manoj Misra.
It also reserved its verdict after three days of hearings on a slew of petitions challenging the central government's electoral bond scheme, which allows political parties to receive anonymous funding.
"We would like the Election Commission of India (ECI) to get the data up to September 30, 2023. We have heard arguments. judgment reserved. In April 2019, there was an interim direction to ECI... and as per that a sealed cover document was produced and the order of the court was not restricted to that date and clarification could have been sought. Now, ECI is to submit updated data by September 30, 2023, in a sealed packet to the Registrar General of this court within two weeks," the bench ordered.
During the hearing, the bench also expressed its disappointment with the ECI for failing to provide data on Electoral Bonds donations to date. It stated that, under the interim order issued on April 12, 2019, the ECI was obligated to keep the data on electoral bond funding up to date.
The poll panel's attorney, Amit Sharma, told the Supreme Court that the ECI was under the impression that the April 2019 order only applied to Electoral Bonds issued for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
ECI then agreed to compile the data by September 30 and present it to the Supreme Court.