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Govt Printed Electoral Bonds Worth Rs 8,350 Cr In Weeks Before SC Scrapped Scheme: RTI Reply

In a massive verdict on February 15, a five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, headed by CJI DY Chandrachud, struck down the electoral bonds scheme that allowed anonymous political funding, saying changes made in the laws to implement it were unconstitutional.

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The now-scrapped electoral bonds scheme allowed anonymous political funding Photo: File representative image
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In weeks before the Supreme Court scrapped the electoral bonds (EB) scheme, the government printed 8,350 bonds of Rs one crore face value each, as per a reply to an RTI application.

In a massive verdict on February 15, a five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, headed by CJI DY Chandrachud, struck down the electoral bonds scheme that allowed anonymous political funding, saying changes made in the laws to implement it were unconstitutional.

According to an Indian Express report citing the RTI response, since the launch of the scheme in 2018, the government has printed electoral bonds worth Rs 35,660 crore -- 33,000 bonds of Rs one crore face value each and 26,600 bonds of Rs 10 lakh face value each.

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Between December 29 last year and February 15 this year, when the Supreme Court scrapped the electoral bonds scheme of anonymous political funding, the Government printed 8,350 bonds of Rs one crore face value each.

The information was reportedly provided by the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, in reply to an RTI application filed by Commodore Lokesh K Batra (Retd).

According to the RTI response, commission and printing the EBs cost the Government Rs 13.94 crore, while the State Bank of India (SBI), which is the authorised financial institution under the scheme, charged it Rs 12.04 crore (inclusive of GST) as commission for sales in 30 phases since the launch of the scheme.

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Donors and political parties were not charged any commission or GST, the RTI response revealed.

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