Citizens Don't Have the Right To Know Source Of Funding, Centre Tells SC In Electoral Bonds Case

The Electoral Bonds case will be heard in the SC on 31 October
The Supreme Court of India
The Supreme Court of IndiaSajad Hussain - Getty Images

India's Attorney General R. Venkataramani has said that Indian citizens do not have a fundamental right to know the sources of funding of a political party during elections. He was arguing for the government via a notification sent to the Supreme Court ahead of a hearing in the Electoral bonds case on 31 October.

The hearing will have a five-judge bench led by Chief Justice D. Y. Chandrachud.

Venkataramani contended that there is no violation of any constitutional requirement and that the election bond plan does not violate pre-existing rights. He maintained that a legislation cannot be declared invalid for any other reason if there is no such contradiction.

Venkataramani explained that the purpose of judicial review is not to criticize state policies and suggest substitutes. He cited the 2003 ruling by the Supreme Court in the People's Union for Civil Liberties case to emphasize how the current issue is not the same as the right to know a candidate's criminal history, which is important information to have when making an informed decision.

"The scheme in question extends the benefit of confidentiality to the contributor. It ensures and promotes clean money being contributed. It ensures abiding by tax obligations. Thus, it does not fall foul of any existing right," the AG told the Supreme Court.

The Attorney General claims that the electoral bond program preserves contributor privacy, encourages clean donations, and guarantees tax compliance without infringing upon any preexisting rights. He emphasized that there is no such thing as the right to know everything for undefined reasons.

The scheme states that any citizen of India or any entity incorporated or established in India can buy electoral bonds. An individual can buy these bonds either by themselves or with other individuals.

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