Monday, May 27

All Electoral Bonds Received Details To Be Shared By November 15: Election Commission

Edited by Hiba Anvar

The Election Commission of India (EC) has asked all political parties to submit the details of all donations received through electoral bonds since the inception of the scheme.

The move by the EC comes after the Supreme Court on November 2 directed the political parties to submit the ‘up-to-date’ data of the fund received by political parties through electoral bonds till September 30, 2023.

A letter to heads of all political parties on November 3, the EC has asked to share the details of the particulars of the donors against each bond, the amount of each such bond and full particulars of the credit received against each bond in a sealed cover.

In the letter, EC has also mentioned that the particulars should be sent in a double-sealed cover to its secretary of the election expenditure division. The envelope is directed to be submitted as follows- one duly sealed envelope containing the particulars and second duly sealed envelope containing the first envelope.

The sealed cover should reach the commission latest by November 15, 5 pm. The ECI has also said that the envelopes should be marked as ‘confidential-electoral bonds.’ The name of the political party, submitting the information, must also be clearly written on the envelope.

The Supreme Court in April 2019, declined to stay the electoral bonds scheme and made it clear that it will accord an in-depth hearing on the pleas as the Center and the Election Commission had raised ‘weighty issues’ that had ‘tremendous bearing on the sanctity of the electoral process in the country’. While passing its order on November 2, the apex court has said, “This exercise shall be carried out on or before November 19, 2023. Data in a sealed packet shall be handed over to the Registrar (Judicial) of this court.”

The electoral bond scheme, which was notified by the government on January 2, 2018, which pitched an alternative to cash donations made to political parties as part of efforts to bring in transparency in political funding. It can be purchased by any citizen of India or entity incorporated or established in the country. Only political parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and which secured not less than 1% of the votes polled in the last Lok Sabha election or an assembly poll are eligible to receive the electoral bonds.