Allowing Unlimited Corporate Donations Through Electoral Bonds Violates Free & Fair Elections : Supreme Court Voids Companies Act Amendment

Chambers of Ishaan Garg

Ch. No. 217, Western Wing, District & Sessions Court, Tis Hazari, New Delhi, Delhi 110054

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In a landmark verdict today, the Supreme Court struck down the controversial electoral bonds scheme as unconstitutional, holding that the anonymity conferred by electoral bonds violates the right to information enshrined in Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution.

This decision comes after a constitution bench, comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai, JB Pardiwala, and Manoj Misra, heard a series of petitions challenging the scheme. Chief Justice Chandrachud, delivering the lead judgment, underscored the fundamental importance of transparency in political funding. Justice Khanna penned a separate opinion, concurring with the chief justice's view but applying a slightly different rationale. The court's ruling addressed concerns about the electoral bonds' potential to facilitate quid pro quo arrangements, highlighting the need for open governance and access to information for voters.

In addition to striking down the electoral bonds scheme, the court also made crucial observations regarding Section 182 of the Companies Act and the issue of political contributions by companies.

Case Title: Association for Democratic Reforms & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors. | Writ Petition (Civil) No. 880 of 2017