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Infographic | Unrestrained corporate funding as over 16K electoral bonds of Rs 1 crore sold

Out of all the electoral bonds, those with denomination of Rs 1 crore were sold the most, with 16,631 sell — an indicator of big corporates' unrestrained funding in the elections.
yushi Arora
Last Updated : 16 February 2024, 16:15 IST
Last Updated : 16 February 2024, 16:15 IST

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In a landmark decision on Thursday, the Supreme Court invalidated the Electoral Bonds Scheme, established on January 2, 2018, as a covert method for political party contributions. The court declared the scheme "unconstitutional" due to its encroachment on citizens' right to information and the potential for a quid pro quo relationship between major corporations and political entities.

The ruling was announced by a five-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India Dr D Y Chandrachud, along with Justices Sanjiv Khanna, B R Gavai, J B Pardiwala, and Manoj Mishra. This decision is a significant moment in the country's legal framework, highlighting the imperative of transparency in political funding.

An examination of the electoral bonds scheme reveals that the ruling BJP secured the majority, receiving nearly 55 percent of the funds until March 2023, while its main rival, the Congress, obtained a mere 9.3 percent. The peak sale of bonds occurred during the 30 phases in the year of the last Lok Sabha polls in 2019, with bonds worth ₹2,256.37 crore being sold from April 1 to 20.

Out of all the electoral bonds, those with denomination of Rs 1 crore were sold the most, with 16,631 sell — an indicator of big corporates' unrestrained funding in the elections.

8,523 electoral bonds with denominations of Rs 10 lakh were sold, while 3,453 of Rs 1 lakh bonds were sold. Rs 10,000 and Rs 1,000 remained least bought, with only 264 and 159 of them sold respectively.

The ECI had raised objections about bonds' validity long before, recommending to reinstate the previous provision that imposed a cap on corporate funding, expressing concerns that unlimited corporate funding could lead to increased use of black money for political funding through shell companies.

All apprehensions have been validated by the highest court, as Electoral Bond scheme got struck down in a unanimous decision for being 'unconstitutional.'

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Published 16 February 2024, 16:15 IST

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