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Electoral bond scheme for political funding declared “unconstitutional”

Published on February 16, 2024
Current Context: The Supreme Court of India has indeed declared the Electoral Bond Scheme as “unconstitutional” on 15th February 2024.
Electoral bond scheme for political funding declared “unconstitutional”
  • Here are some key points from the verdict:
    • The Supreme Court stated that the scheme violates the Right to Information (RTI) and can lead to quid pro quo.
    • The court has ordered the State Bank of India (SBI) to reveal the names of the donors and the amounts received by political parties through the Electoral Bond scheme.
    • The scheme allowed anonymous funding to political parties.
    • It was first announced in the 2017 Union Budget speech by the late Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley.
    • The primary concern raised by transparency activists is that voters can no longer know which individual, company, or organization has funded which party and to what extent.
    • The Centre, however, has pitched bonds as an alternative to cash donations and as a way to increase transparency and accountability in political funding.
    • The Supreme Court has also struck down provisions in the Companies Act, Income Tax Act, and Representation of Peoples Act relating to electoral bonds.

Question:

Q.1 Who first announced the Electoral Bond Scheme?
a. The current Finance Minister
b. The late Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley
c. The Prime Minister
d. The President
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