The Supreme Court expressed concern over possible misuse of money generated by political parties through electoral bonds to spread violence and anarchy and demanded to know if the government had safeguards to check such a possibility.
“This money could be used to carry out all sorts of illegal activity, spread violence and terrorism,” a three-judge bench led by CJI SA Bobde observed while hearing a plea for stay on issue of another round of bonds in April ahead of the assembly polls. Petitions which have challenged the validity of electoral bonds are yet to come up for hearing and there is little possibility of an early hearing. At the moment, SC is hearing a plea for stay on issuance of another round of bonds between April 1and 10.
Attorney General KK Venugopal rejected the possibility of misuse and said that bonds were issued only to recognised political parties. The bench though insisted the government explain how misuse can be checked. The AG contended that the money from electoral bonds was clean and not black money. “This is white money which comes through checks and demand drafts,” he argued.
Activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan disputed the AG’s arguments. He said there was no guarantee of clean money. He alleged there was no transparency in who donated as this information was only available with the government. Representing EC, senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi opposed any stay on electoral bonds.
AG rejects the possibility of misuse, says bonds are issued only to recognised political parties