Day 1 Arguments: 5 April 2019

Today, the Supreme Court briefly heard advocate Prashant Bhushan present arguments on behalf of the petitioners. The matter has been adjourned for Wednesday, 10th April 2019.

 

The Supreme Court is hearing petitions challenging to the electoral bonds scheme. An electoral bond is a bearer instrument, like a promissory note, that is payable to the bearer on demand. Thes bonds can be purchased from the SBI Bank and can be encashed by political parties within 15 days. The Communist Party of India (Marxist), Association for Democratic Reforms and Common Cause have challenged the scheme.

 

They petitioners are seeking a stay order on the scheme on two grounds: 

  1. Almost all electoral bond donotions have been in favour of the Union Government
  2. Most bonds use the 1 million and 1 crore denominations, hinting that the scheme is primarily used by corporates and not individuals, who enjoy donor anonymity under the scheme.

 

Today, Senior Advocate Prashant Bhushan presented arguments on behalf of the petitioners. He sought a stay order on the scheme. He submitted that over a 1,000 crores have been donatad to parties via electoral bonds and that around 95% of them are going to the ruling party. 

 

Attorney General KK Venguopal objected to the vague nature of Mr. Bhushan's arguments. He accused Mr. Bhushan of giving an election speech. He submitted that the funds parties received via electoral bonds used to be black money donations. 

 

The Court adjourned the matter for Wednesday, 10th April.

(Court reporting by Abhishek Sankritik)