Transparency is hallmark of ECI, say poll panel sources after SC verdict on electoral bonds

"The system should be more transparent. This has been the consistent stand of the EC," says former CEC Sunil Arora.

ByPTI

Published Feb 16, 2024 | 9:53 AMUpdatedFeb 16, 2024 | 9:53 AM

The ECI said its functioning has always been transparent. (Wikimedia Commons)

Transparency has been the hallmark of the Election Commission, poll panel sources said on Thursday, 15 February, responding to the verdict of the Supreme Court annulling the electoral bonds scheme for political funding.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud directed that the State Bank of India (SBI), the authorised financial institution under the scheme, must disclose details of each electoral bond encashed by political parties.

The information should include the date of encashment and the denomination of the bonds and be submitted to the poll panel by 6 March.

When asked, an Election Commission spokesperson said, “We have no comments to offer on the SC verdict of today.”

Related: ‘Unconstitutional’: Supreme Court strikes down electoral bonds scheme

Verdict welcomed

Poll panel sources, however, welcomed the verdict and said the EC has always pushed for transparency.

“Transparency has been the hallmark of the Commission,” a source said.

Former chief election commissioner Sunil Arora also aired the same views.

The system should be more transparent. This has been the consistent stand of the EC, Arora said.

The Supreme Court bench said the EC should publish the information shared by SBI on its official website by 13 March.

Pronouncing the verdict, the CJI said the scheme is violative of the right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.

“The electoral bonds scheme and the impugned provisions to the extent that they infringe upon the right to information of the voter by anonymising contribution through electoral bonds are violative of Article 19 (1)(a),” the CJI said while pronouncing the verdict.

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