Supreme Court Dismisses Plea To Stay Sale Of Electoral Bonds Ahead Of Assembly Polls
A woman walks past Bharatiya Janata Party flags flying at a road in Kacharibari More, West Bengal. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Supreme Court Dismisses Plea To Stay Sale Of Electoral Bonds Ahead Of Assembly Polls

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The Supreme Court dismissed a plea seeking stay on further sale of electoral bonds ahead of assembly elections.

A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde declined to stay sale of the electoral bonds as sought in the application moved by the non-governmental organisation, Association for Democratic Reforms.

The Centre had earlier told the bench, also comprising Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, that the bonds would be issued from April 1 to April 10.

The NGO had claimed that there is a serious apprehension that any further sale of electoral bonds before the upcoming assembly elections, including in West Bengal and Assam, would further increase "illegal and illicit funding of political parties through shell companies".

The White Money Argument 

While reserving its order on the NGO's application, the apex court on March 24 had flagged the issue of possible misuse of funds received through electoral bonds by political parties for illegal purposes like terrorism and had asked the Centre whether there was any “control” over how these funds were put to use.

The Centre had told the bench that electoral bonds have a validity of 15 days and political parties have to file their income tax return also. It had said that buyers have to use white money and the purchase of electoral bonds is through a banking channel.

“Terrorism is not funded by white money. It is funded by black money,” the government had said.

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