Electoral Bonds : Update
The Supreme Court of India has referred the challenge to the validity of the electoral bonds scheme, which allows anonymous donations to political parties, to a Constitution Bench of five judges.
- The case also pertains to the passage of the electoral bonds scheme as a Money Bill
- The electoral bonds system was introduced in 2017 by way of a Finance bill and it was implemented in 2018.
- They serve as a means for individuals and entities to make donations to registered political parties while maintaining donor anonymity.
- State Bank of India (SBI) issues the bonds in denominations of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh, and Rs 1 crore.
- EB is Payable to the bearer on demand and interest-free.
- Purchased by Indian citizens or entities established in India.
- Can be bought individually or jointly with other individuals.
- Valid for 15 calendar days from the date of issue.
- SBI is the authorized issuer.
- Electoral Bonds are issued through designated SBI branches.
- Only the political parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and have secured not less than 1% of the votes polled in the last general election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly, are eligible to receive electoral bonds
- Electoral Bonds can be purchased digitally or through cheques.
- Encashment only through an authorized bank account of the political party.
- Parties must disclose their bank account with the Election Commission of India (ECI).
- Donations are made through banking channels, ensuring transparency.
- Political parties are obligated to explain the utilization of the funds received.