NEW DELHI: Will the Supreme Court’s interim order remove the secrecy veil on electoral bond donors? Hardly, says Prof Jagdeep Chhokar, a founder member of Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
Parties can easily say they received the bonds anonymously, points out Prof Chhokar, whose ADR is one of the petitioners in the Supreme Court.
“Since the last two years, the government has been saying donor details are not known to anybody except the SBI.
So, I expect political parties to tell the Election Commission they don’t know (about the donors). If they say they know, then the scheme gets failed,” he tells this newspaper.“It will not make any difference to the political parties and today’s order has not helped in bringing in more transparency,” he adds.
Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan has a different take. “SC orders that parties receiving anonymous Electoral Bonds will have to disclose donor details to EC. >95% of the 3KCr plus bonds have gone to BJP.
Will the BJP disclose donors or will it say that people slipped these bonds under door of BJP office! Will the quid pro quo be known?” he tweeted.
According to S K Mendiratta, former legal adviser to the EC, “To a great extent the scheme was perhaps a retrograde step because it claimed to have more transparency but the EC felt it will bring more opacity to fund raising by political parties.”