DMPQ:What are electoral bonds? Electoral bonds does not pass the test of transparency. Comment (POLITY)

The Finance Bill, 2017, introduced “electoral bonds”, that are interest free bearer bonds. It is an instrument that is used to donate money to political parties. The parties involved will probably be a donor, the political party and the RBI — which acts as the intermediary.Electoral bonds can be purchased from an authorized bank, issued to a political party and can be cashed in via the party’s verified account within 15 days. The identity of the donor will be known only to the bank and otherwise be kept anonymous.

Recently the issue of electoral bonds was heard in the Supreme court. SC directed all parties to submit the details of the funding in sealed cover. Centre stand is that people should not know from where funding is coming to political parties. This is against the fundamental right of right to know and eventually the right to make informed choice. Further according to a report of Association of democratic reforms, 95% of the funding goes to the one political party only. Even election commission is of the view of revealing the funding agencies.

Centre stand is that in case of the party getting donations does not come to power, the ruling party may use their power to harass the donors. This is not a legitimate argument as no transparency is jolt to free and fair elections.

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