While the Supreme Court refused to order a stay on the scheme of Electoral Bonds, its direction to political parties is that they have to disclose details about the bonds, donors and bank details etc, to the Election Commission by May 30. It is speculated, will lead to some sort of investigation.
The disclosure may lead to information about sources of the funds, identity of the donors and shareholders of companies will also get to know what the companies donated and to which party. While the Government has designed the scheme to keep the details secret, the Supreme Court will hear arguments for and against it after the ongoing election.
“BIG blow to govt. SC orders all political parties must submit details of donors to EC in a sealed cover by 30th May. Sanctity of Electoral process is Imp says SC,” tweeted A Narayanan.
Lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan wondered if the BJP would disclose the details or claim that the bonds were sent anonymously to the party!
“SC orders that parties receiving anonymous Electoral Bonds will have to disclose donor details to EC. >95% of the 3KCr plus bonds have gone to BJP. Will the BJP disclose donors or will it say that people slipped these bonds under door of BJP office! Will the quid pro quo be known?”
Vikram Hegde tweeted a photograph of an Electoral bond he purchased and said, “I am in possession of an Electoral Bond purchased today. I will give it to a party which promises to scrap the Electoral Bond Scheme 2018 and proposes a more transparent system of election funding.”
INC spokesman Sanjay Jha feels the news from the court is bad news for the Government. “What is #Modi & co hiding from us all? Why? Bad news for all those who funded #BJP if they used tainted money for #ElectoralBonds. There will be a public disclosure. An investigation too,” he tweeted.
Kavita Krishnan of the CPI(ML) said, “Every voter has a right to know who funds every candidate/party. The SC interim order saying #ElectoralBonds details must only go in sealed cover to ECI, tho a setback for Modi Govt, is far from enough. Why the secrecy? Why does the Modi Govt want to hide identity of donors?”
“The party that claims to have launched a war on black money through #Demonetisation now doesn't want us to know source of political funding. Why? Netas above the law?” tweeted an amused journalist and commentator Harinder Baweja.
Shatrughan Sinha, former BJP Member of Parliament, who has joined the Congress and is contesting the election, tweeted, addressing the Prime Minister, “Sirji. Our people made big noise about the need for transparency in funding when the AAP was allegedly harassed by the Income Tax Department for receiving donations without PAN. And now while your Govt defends electoral bonds for party funding, it does not want to disclose.”
“Transparency can’t be a mantra Realities of the day must be taken into account Voters have the right to know about their candidates, not about where the money for them is coming from’ This isn’t some dark comedy. It’s our attorney-general lecturing Supreme Court of India,” tweeted an incredulous Shekhar Gupta, former Editor-in-Chief of Indian Express.
Several other Twitter users questioned the decision to seek the details in sealed cover.
“This SC asking details about #ElectoralBonds in a sealed cover is so bizarre! Essentially, they're asking details for an already non-transparent political funding tool in a manner which is non-transparent.”