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ECI Complies with Supreme Court Order: Electoral Bonds Data Published

In adherence to a directive from the Supreme Court, the Election Commission of India (ECI) released electoral bonds data on its official website. This move, mandated by the apex court, follows a recent ruling declaring the 2018 electoral bond scheme as "unconstitutional."
Photo Credit : ANI

In adherence to a directive from the Supreme Court, the Election Commission of India (ECI) released electoral bonds data on its official website. This move, mandated by the apex court, follows a recent ruling declaring the 2018 electoral bond scheme as “unconstitutional.” Here’s a breakdown of the latest developments:

Background: Supreme Court’s Verdict and SBI’s Compliance

The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the electoral bond scheme prompted the State Bank of India (SBI) to provide comprehensive data related to electoral bonds to the Election Commission. The Court ordered the ECI to disclose this information by March 13, underscoring the importance of transparency in political funding.

Despite the SBI’s request for an extended deadline until June 2024, the Supreme Court rejected the plea, insisting on an immediate submission. Consequently, the bank submitted the electoral bond data to the ECI by March 12, aligning with the Court’s directive.

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Electoral Bond Data Publication

On March 14, the Election Commission fulfilled its obligation by making the electoral bond data publicly accessible on its website. This data, received from the SBI, includes details such as purchaser names, bond purchase dates, denominations, and information on political parties receiving the funds.

The ECI underscored its unwavering commitment to transparency in its statement, reaffirming its stance favoring disclosure and accountability. This commitment was consistently expressed throughout the legal proceedings and reiterated in the Supreme Court’s order.

Insights from the Electoral Bond Data

The electoral bond data comprises two primary sets of information: the first set delineates purchasers’ names, bond purchase dates, and denominations, while the second set outlines details of political parties, along with dates and denominations of bonds encashed.

Key revelations from the data include the identities of bond purchasers and the amounts donated through these bonds. Notable contributors encompass a diverse array of entities, including corporations like Megha Engineering and Infrastructure, Future Gaming and Hotel Services (Lottery Martin), Sun Pharma, Lakshmi Mittal, Sula Wine, and DLF Commercial Developers.

Furthermore, the data sheds light on the participation of major political parties in India, with mentions of the BJP, Congress, AITMC, BRS, AIADMK, TDP, YSR Congress, AAP, SP, JD(U), among others, as beneficiaries of electoral bonds.

Conclusion: Upholding Transparency in Political Financing

The publication of electoral bond data marks a significant stride towards enhancing transparency in political funding. By adhering to the Supreme Court’s directives and facilitating public access to crucial information, the Election Commission reinforces its commitment to upholding democratic principles and ensuring accountability in the electoral process.

Moving forward, continued efforts to promote transparency and accountability will be essential in fostering public trust and confidence in the democratic framework.

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