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SC allows fresh electoral bonds to be issued from April 1

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New Delhi, Mar 26: The Supreme Court on Friday said that fresh electoral bonds can be issued from April 1.

The court passed the order following a submission by the Election Commission of India which said that it approves of the instrument since without it the political parties would deal in cash. The EC had also added that it was in favour of bringing in more transparency into the transactions involving the bonds.

SC allows fresh electoral bonds to be issued from April 1

The court had on Wednesday reserved its order on a plea that sought a stay on the sale of fresh electoral bonds ahead of the state assembly elections in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and the union territory of Puducherry.

If a political party gets Rs 100 crore worth bonds what is the control over the use of these bonds for illegal activities or purposes outside political agenda, the court had asked.

Attorney General K K Venugopal representing the Centre told the court that the scheme was launched in 2018. It has helped curb black money in the elections as no cash is collected. Bonds can be purchased only through cheque or DD, he said.

The Election Commission told the court that it is not opposed to these bonds, but raised concerns over its anonymity.

The petition was filed by the Association for Democratic Reforms. It has sought to stop the fresh sale of electoral bonds from April 11 till the validity of the same is decided by the Supreme Court.

"There is a serious apprehension that any further sale of Electoral Bonds before the upcoming state elections in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Assam, would further increase illegal and illicit funding of political parties through shell companies. Thus, the petitioner seeks a direction that no further opening of the window for the sale of electoral bonds be allowed during the pendency of the instant writ petition," the petition says.

The petition was heard by a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India, S A Bobde.

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