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Plea in Supreme Court seeks review of verdict scrapping electoral bonds scheme

Holding that the 2018 electoral bond scheme was 'violative' of the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression and right to information, a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud had scrapped the scheme.
Last Updated : 15 April 2024, 09:09 IST
Last Updated : 15 April 2024, 09:09 IST

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New Delhi: A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking review of its February 15 verdict, which had scrapped the Modi government's electoral bonds scheme of anonymous political funding.

The review plea filed by advocate Mathews J. Nedumpara submitted that this Court entertained the petition (against the scheme) and struck down the law and the scheme without noticing that in doing so it is acting as an appellate authority over Parliament, substituting its wisdom on a matter which falls in the exclusive province of legislative and executive policy.

"The court failed to notice that even assuming the issue is justiciable, the petitioners therein having not claimed any specific legal injury exclusive to them, their petition could not have been decided as if a private litigation for the enforcement of rights which are specific and exclusive to them," Nedumpara submitted in his plea.

He said the Court failed to notice that the public opinion could be sharply divided and the majority of the people of this country could probably be in support of the scheme, brought into existence by their elected representatives and that they too have a right to be heard, as much as the PIL/writ petitioners.

"The court failed to notice that, if at all it is venturing into the forbidden domain of adjudicating upon a matter of legislative policy, they have a duty to hear the public at large and that the proceedings ought to be converted into representative proceedings…," the plea said.

Holding that the 2018 electoral bond scheme was 'violative' of the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression and right to information, a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud had scrapped the scheme.

The top court had also directed the State Bank of India, the authorised financial institution under the scheme, to submit by March 6 the details of electoral bonds purchased since April 12, 2019 till date to the Election Commission, which will publish the information on its official website by March 13.

Under the electoral bonds scheme, ruling parties can coerce people and entities to contribute, the apex court had said and rejected as 'erroneous' the Centre's argument that it protects confidentiality of the contributor which is akin to the system of secret ballot.

The electoral bonds scheme, which was notified by the government on January 2, 2018, was pitched as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties as part of efforts to bring transparency in political funding.

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Published 15 April 2024, 09:09 IST

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