Supreme Court’s Electoral Bond Verdict Gives CPM A ‘I Told You So’ Moment

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Supreme Court's Electoral Bond Verdict Gives CPM A 'I Told You So' Moment

CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury welcomed the Supreme Court verdict. File

New Delhi:

Shortly after the Supreme Court declared the electoral bonds scheme unconstitutional, the CPM, also a petitioner in the case, welcomed the verdict and said details of donations to political parties must come out. The CPM is the only major political party that did not accept donations by electoral bonds and had challenged the scheme in court.

“We welcome this. We are a petitioner, the only political party that had the locus standi to argue against electoral bonds. We are the only party that did not express any electoral bond as a matter of principle because we consider the electoral bonds scheme as a legalisation of political corruption and this had to be ended,” CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury told news agency ANI.

The CPM leader also said the court has significantly ordered that details of donations made through this method be made public. “There is an element of the possibility of a quid pro quo. This has clearly exposed this government’s claims of fighting corruption,” he said.

Mr Yechury also welcomed the Supreme Court’s observations that “unlimited contribution” by companies to political parties is antithetical to free and fair elections. “When that amendment was moved in Parliament, I was a member. I remember we had a very heated argument with the then Finance Minister, late Arun Jaitley, that you are opening up the way for money laundering,” he said.

The CPM also issued a statement, calling the judgment “historic”. “By this verdict, this unscrupulous scheme designed to finance the ruling party by anonymous corporate donors has been completely scrapped,” it said.

The ruling BJP is yet to come out with an official response to the verdict.

In a unanimous judgment, a Constitution bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrchud struck down the electoral bonds scheme this morning on the grounds that it violates the citizens’ right to information. The Chief Justice also directed that the State Bank of India must stop issue of these bonds at once and provide details of donations made through this mode to the Election Commission of India. The poll body was asked to publish this information on its website by March 13.

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