Electoral bonds | ‘A little effort’ needed to pierce veil of anonymity, says Supreme Court

Money spent by firms can be traced online on website of Ministry of Corporate Affairs, says Supreme Court.

March 26, 2021 11:57 pm | Updated March 27, 2021 12:17 am IST - NEW DELHI

Image for representation.

Image for representation.

A “little effort” will go a long way in piercing the veil of secrecy about electoral bonds, the Supreme Court said in an order on Friday.

“All that is required is a little more effort to cull out such information from both sides (purchaser of bond and political party) and do some ‘match the following’. Therefore, it is not as though the operations under the scheme are behind iron curtains incapable of being pierced,” a three-judge Bench of Chief Justices S.A. Bobde, Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian said.

Also read | Supreme Court refuses to stay sale of electoral bonds ahead of Assembly polls

The court dealt with apprehensions that corporate houses, domestic and foreign, could anonymously contribute hefty amounts to parties and have a stranglehold over electoral politics.

The court said money spent by companies could be easily traced online on the website of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

“They can also be obtained in physical form from the Registrar of Companies upon payment of prescribed fee. Since the scheme mandates political parties to file audited statement of accounts and also since the Companies Act requires financial statements of registered companies to be filed with the Registrar of Companies, the purchase as well as encashment of the bonds, happening only through banking channels, is always reflected in documents that eventually come to the public domain,” the court noted.

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