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Justice Bhat added that in a concurring verdict that every citizen needs to treat fellow citizens equally and foster the concept of fraternity.

SC refuses to grant interim stay on electoral bond scheme, seeks response

The Supreme Court on Monday (January 20) sought response of the Centre and the Election Commission on a plea seeking stay on the electoral bond scheme meant for funding political parties.

The top court, however, refused to grant an interim stay on the electoral bond scheme. A bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde and justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant asked the Centre and the Election Commission to file their responses within two weeks on the interim application filed by NGO Association for Democratic Reforms for staying the scheme.

Lawyer Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, alleged that the scheme is a means for channelising unaccounted black money in favour of the ruing party. Bhushan also referred to a document of the RBI while seeking stay of the scheme. “We will see that. We are listing it after two weeks,” the bench said.

Senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, appearing for the EC, said all these arguments have already been advanced earlier and sought four weeks time to reply to the plea of the NGO against the scheme. The government has opened sale of electoral bonds for 10 days for the Delhi Assembly election. The government had notified the Electoral Bond Scheme on January 2, 2018.

As per provisions of the scheme, electoral bonds may be purchased by a person, who is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India. An individual can buy electoral bonds, either singly or jointly with other individuals.

Only political parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and which secured not less than one per cent of votes polled in the last general election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of the State, shall be eligible to receive electoral bonds.

As per the notification, electoral bonds shall be encashed by an eligible political party only through a bank account with an authorised bank.

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