The Supreme Court has ruled that a petition by a voluntary organization seeking an order from the federal government not to open any window for the sale of election papers while a case related to funding political parties is pending cannot be heard on October 8. It is said that there is no transparency in their accounts.
The bench, headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana, asked advocate Prashant Bhushan that the NGO “Association for Democratic Reforms” would not be removed from the list of matters scheduled for trial on October 8.
“Friday (October 8) is the last day (before the Dasara holiday). We cannot take it (for trial),” the bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli said.
The NGO, which filed the welfare petition in 2017 on allegations of illegal and foreign funding of political parties and corruption and undermining democracy due to lack of transparency in the accounts of all political parties, filed an interim application in March this year. Assembly elections in West Bengal and Assam demand that the window for the sale of election papers should not be reopened.
The NGO, in an application filed in the pending petition, said that the sale of more ballot papers ahead of the upcoming assembly elections, including in West Bengal and Assam, would “further increase the illegal and illegal funding of political parties”. By shell companies “
It alleged that “the ruling party has won more than 60 per cent of the total election papers issued so far,” according to data on election papers declared by political parties in the audit reports for 2017-18 and 2018-19.
The application states that more than Rs 6,500 crore worth of election papers have so far been donated to the ruling party and sold.
On January 20 last year, the court refused to impose an interim injunction on the 2018 Electoral Bonds Scheme and sought the responses of the Central and Electoral Commission in an interim application seeking an interim injunction against the scheme.
The government announced the election bond scheme on January 2, 2018.
Under the terms of the scheme, election papers can be purchased by an Indian citizen or by someone affiliated or established in India. An individual may purchase ballot papers individually or jointly with others.
Only political parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 received less than 1 percent of the vote in the last general election to the House of Commons or the State Legislature. Get election papers.
According to the notification, election bonds can only be withdrawn through a bank account in a bank authorized by a qualified political party.
The Electoral Bonds Scheme has opened “floodgates for unlimited corporate donations” to political parties and the anonymous funding of Indian and foreign companies will have a severe impact on Indian democracy.
It said in 2017 that the Election Commission and the Reserve Bank of India had “objected to the election papers and advised against the issuance of election papers as a way of donating to political parties”.
Nearly 99 per cent of the election bonds purchased are said to be worth between Rs 1 crore and Rs 10 lakh, which are not individual citizens but big corporations who buy these bonds with the intention of getting a kickback from the government.
Some amendments to the Finance Act, 2017 and the previous Finance Act, 2016, passed as cash bills, previously stated that it would open the door to unlimited political donations from foreign institutions and thereby legalize large-scale electoral corruption. At the same time it ensures complete transparency in political finance.
The Election Commission has told the Supreme Court that it has obtained the status of filing election papers on stamped cards from various political parties, including the BJP and the Congress.
The Election Commission filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court on April 12, 2019 directing the political parties to provide all the details of the funds received through the election papers to the Election Commission in a sealed card.
The court refused to ban the federal government’s Electoral Bond Scheme for 2018 and clarified that it would allow an in-depth hearing on the petitions as the Center and the Election Commission have raised “massive issues” that have a major impact on sanctity. Electoral process in the country. “
The federal government and the Election Commission have taken a contradictory stance in court regarding political funding, the government wants to maintain the anonymity of donors in securities and the Election Commission has batted to explicitly disclose the names of donors.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published by Syndicate Feed.)