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Bihar Assembly election | Urgent Supreme Court hearing sought on plea against electoral bonds

A sample of the electoral bond issued by the SBI. Photo: Special Arrangement  

An application has been filed in the Supreme Court for an urgent hearing of a pending petition against the electoral bonds scheme, especially on account of the opening of the sale window for electoral bonds right before the Bihar Assembly elections.

Also read: The Hindu Explains: What is an electoral bond and how do we get one?

The Association for Democratic Reforms, represented by advocates Prashant Bhushan and Neha Rathi, said, “Right before the Bihar legislative assembly elections, the State Bank of India, in the XIV Phase of sale, has been authorised to issue and encash electoral bonds through its 29 authorised branches w.e.f. October 19 to October 28”.

The application, filed on Monday, pointed out that the government notification of 2018 on electoral bonds scheme stipulated that their sale should happen in the months of January, April, July and October annually.

Also read: Won't stay electoral bonds scheme even now: CJI

However, the sale window was not opened in April and July, but has been done so in October, right before the Bihar polls, it contended.

The application said it has been nine months since the last hearing in the case. The petitioner had twice urged the court to stay the implementation of the scheme.

In the last hearing in January, a Bench led by Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde had not found it necessary to stay the scheme.

Comment | The opacity around electoral bonds

Advocates Bhushan and Shadan Farasat had then fervently argued that the scheme was a means to funnel benami funds to fuel political parties.

They had argued that both the Election Commission of India and the Reserve Bank of India had expressed strong reservations about the scheme.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 1:32:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/plea-for-urgent-sc-hearing-on-plea-against-poll-bonds/article32957105.ece

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