The Electoral Bond Act that enables political parties to raise donation was passed in the year 2007 and came into force in the year 2018. State Bank of India floated bonds in various denominations which can be purchased and gifted to political parties. The bond will not bear the name, address or any details about the donor.
Political parties are charging that there is no transparency in the electoral bonds scheme. Four petitions have been filed in the Supreme Court alleging that the clauses in the bond are against the constitution of the country.
The petition has been accepted by the apex court. The petition came up for review before the special constitutional bench on Wednessday. The court wanted the bonds to be kept ready for review.
The Central Government’s Attorney General Venkatramani filed a four page petition in the court which stated that the public have no right to know the donations paid to political parties. This not only shocks but also raises the question about public morale.
The BJP came to power in the year 2014 promising transparency and credibility in public affairs. The electoral bond scheme is a direct contradiction to this commitment.
As per the current financial laws, donations above Rs 2000 made to any Charity or Trust will not enjoy tax exemption. Payments above Rs 2 lakhs made to relatives will attract 100 per cent penalty.
While there are a thousand restrictions over day-to-day life, allowing anyone to receive unlimited sums through electoral bonds as party donation cannot be ethical.
This is nothing but degradation of public morale. The preamble of the Constitution of India opens with the reference, “We the People”.
How can it be right to deny the people the right to know about donations to political parties?
Let the people understand.