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CPI-M hails SC verdict striking down electoral bonds, says "unscrupulous scheme" designed to finance ruling party

New Delhi: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Thursday hailed the verdict of the Supreme Court striking down the electoral bonds scheme and said the "unscrupulous scheme designed to finance the ruling party by anonymous corporate donors" has been completely scrapped.
Party general secretary Sitaram Yechury told ANI said that CPI-M had moved the apex court against the scheme.
"CPI-M was the petitioner, the only political party who had the locus standi to argue against the electoral bonds. As a matter of principle, we are the only party that did not accept electoral bonds. We consider electoral bonds as a legalisation of political corruption," Yechury said.
"It is a welcome judgement. There's a possibility of quid-pro-quo, which means deal-breaking. This has exposed this government's claims of fighting corruption" he added.
The party's politburo also issued a statement hailing the "historic judgment" of the apex court.
"The CPI(M) had declared at the outset itself that the party will not accept electoral bonds as this scheme legalizes corruption. The CPI(M) had challenged the electoral bonds scheme in the Supreme Court along with other petitioners. It is gratifying that the main contentions set out in the petition against the scheme have been upheld," the statement said.
The party said it is essential now that reforms for political and electoral funding are introduced to ensure transparency, clean funding and a level playing field.
A five-judge bench of Chief Justice of Inda DY Chandrachud, Justices Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai, JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra delivered a unanimous verdict on Thursday, striking down the electoral bonds scheme as unconstitutional. The bench was ruling on a batch of pleas challenging the legal validity of the Central government's Electoral Bonds Scheme, which allows for anonymous funding to political parties.
At the start of the judgement, CJI Chandrachud said there are two opinions, one by himself and another by Justice Sanjiv Khanna and both arrive at same conclusion. The bench said that the petitions raised two main issues; whether amendments are violative of right to information under Article 19(1)(a) and whether unlimited corporate funding violated free and fair elections.
The CJI while reading out his judgement said that the Supreme Court holds that anonymous electoral bonds are violative of Right to Information and Article 19(1)(a). The Supreme Court said that information about corporate contributors through Electoral Bonds must be disclosed as the donations by companies are purely for quid pro quo purposes.
The court held that amendments in the Companies Act permitting unlimited political contributions by companies is arbitrary and unconstitutional. The Supreme Court said infringement to the Right to Information is not justified for the purpose of curbing black money. The apex court ordered banks to forthwith stop issuing electoral bonds and that the State Bank of India (SBI) shall furnish the details of Electoral Bonds encashed by the political parties.

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