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Supreme Court Strikes Down Electoral Bonds Scheme, terms it unconstitutional

wattandaily.com Reports; In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court of India has ruled against the electoral bonds scheme, citing violations of the right to information and freedom of speech and expression enshrined in the Constitution. The verdict, delivered by a five-judge Constitution bench led by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud, comes in response to multiple pleas challenging the legality of the scheme.

According to the verdict pronounced by the Chief Justice, the electoral bonds scheme infringes upon the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. This ruling signifies a significant legal development in the realm of political funding and transparency in India.

Moreover, the bench emphasized that the right to privacy encompasses citizens’ entitlement to political privacy and affiliation. This aspect of the judgment highlights the broader implications of the electoral bonds scheme on individual liberties and democratic processes.

The electoral bonds scheme, introduced by the government on January 2, 2018, was positioned as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties, with the aim of enhancing transparency in political funding. However, the scheme has faced criticism and legal challenges since its inception, with concerns raised regarding its effectiveness in achieving its stated objectives.

The decision of the Supreme Court to strike down the electoral bonds scheme reflects a critical assessment of its compatibility with constitutional principles and democratic values. This ruling is likely to have significant ramifications for political financing practices in India and may prompt policymakers to revisit existing frameworks for regulating campaign contributions and expenditure.

The verdict underscores the judiciary’s role in upholding constitutional rights and ensuring accountability in governance processes. As the nation grapples with evolving challenges in electoral finance, this judgment serves as a reminder of the importance of safeguarding democratic principles and protecting citizens’ rights wattandaily.com

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