Published on – 22 November 2022 at 22:51 IST
The Supreme Court fixed December 6 for hearing a petition challenging the government notification allowing the sale of electoral bonds for an additional 15 days in the year of general elections to the Legislative Assemblies of States and Union Territories given.
The petition filed by Congress leader Jaya Thakur will be heard by a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud.
A bench headed by Justice BR Gavai has already taken up the petitions filed by NGO, Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) challenging the scheme and listed them for hearing on December 6.
The apex court had in March 2021 dismissed a plea filed by the NGO seeking a stay on any fresh sale of electoral bonds ahead of the assembly elections due at that time.
The SC then questioned claims regarding “complete anonymity” of the purchasers of the bonds and said “it is not as though the operations under the scheme are behind iron curtains incapable of being pierced.”
The plea was filed in order to quashed November 7 notification issued by the Finance Ministry amending the electoral bonds scheme. The gazette notification states:
“An additional period of 15 days shall be specified by the Central government in the year of general elections to the legislative Assembly of States and Union Territories with the legislature,”
Earlier, a 30-day extra period for sale was allowed only in Lok Sabha election year.
Rejecting its prayer not to allow any fresh window for their sale till its main plea challenging the electoral bond scheme is decided, the court said the bonds have already been issued without any hindrance.
The petitioners representative Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, contended that the scheme affected the very idea of free and fair elections.
“Free and fair elections are central to a democracy. It is the basic structure… Now, an opaque way of funding political parties where you do not even know who is funding whom destroys the very concept of Article 324,”