New Delhi, March 21
The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would examine if petitions challenging the validity of the electoral bonds scheme for funding of political parties needed to be referred to a Constitutional Bench for an “authoritative pronouncement”.
“We will see on April 11 whether the petitions can be referred to a Constitution Bench,” a Bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said after the counsel for one of the PIL petitioners said that the matter should be sent to a Constitution Bench in view of the impact of the electoral bonds scheme on democratic polity.
The issue assumes significance in view of the upcoming Assembly elections in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Mizoram and Telangana; and the 2024 Lok Sabha poll.
Noting that, so far, Rs 12,000 crore had been paid to political parties through electoral bonds and two-thirds of the amount went to one political party, petitioners submitted that the matter needed to be decided expeditiously before the upcoming Karnataka Assembly poll. On behalf of Association for Democratic Reforms, senior advocate Dushyant Dave, representing the NGO, supported referring the petitions to a Constitution Bench. The hearing was deferred to April 11.
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