New Delhi: A day after Lok Sabha elections kick-started, the Supreme Court on Friday asked political parties to submit details of the donations received through electoral bonds to the Election Commission of India (ECI).
In an interim order, the apex court directed the parties to furnish details of donors and amounts received through the bonds to the poll watchdog by May 30.
The order was passed by a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by NGO Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) and CPI(M).
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Petitioner Jagdish Chokkar told the media, “This is an interim order, not the final judgement. The Supreme Court has asked all political parties to submit in a sealed cover to the ECI details of donations received. The last date for purchase of electoral bonds is May 15. By May 30, every political party has to submit the details of the bonds to the ECI. The ECI will keep details will it.”
The NGO has sought a stay on the electoral bonds scheme or to make it mandatory to disclose the names of those who are buying them for maintaining transparency in political funding.
On April 10, the ECI had told the Supreme Court that it was not against the issuance of electoral bonds for the funding of political parties, but was against the anonymity of the donors. It wanted transparency in the scheme.
The Centre had earlier filed an affidavit in the case and said that electoral bonds were a “positive step” to ensure “accountability and transparency” in conducting elections.
These bonds were introduced to deal with the menace of corruption in elections, it had said.
(With ANI inputs)