Jamaat-e-Islami Hind welcomes SC judgment striking down Electoral bonds

February 16, 2024

New Delhi: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) has welcomed the Supreme Court of India judgment striking down Electoral bonds.

In a statement to the media, JIH Vice President Prof. Salim Engineer said: “We welcome the Supreme Court of India’s judgment striking down the Electoral bonds scheme. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind has persistently opposed the scheme since its inception and pointed out its fallacies multiple times. The scheme introduced secrecy and opacity into the process of funding political parties. The electoral bonds scheme allows corporations and individuals to anonymously donate money to political parties by purchasing electoral bonds from the State Bank of India (SBI). The government has also amended various laws such as the Finance Act of 2017, the RBI Act, the Companies Act, the Income Tax Act of 1961, the Representation of the People Act, and FCRA, to pave the way for electoral bonds. These amendments allowed companies to donate 100% of their profits instead of the earlier maximum cap of 7.5% of their profits. This would encourage illegal donations and lead to the forming of shell companies to convert black money to white. Financial contributions to a political party would lead to quid pro quo arrangements that are at the heart of corruption in high places. Thus the entire scheme was designed to aid crony capitalism.”

Prof Salim Engineer said, “Now that the apex court has done away with Electoral bonds, political parties should come together to enact legislation that addresses the increasing influence of financial power in elections, ensuring a fair and transparent electoral process. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind demands that the Election Commission of India (ECI) should introduce measures to ensure transparency regarding donations to political parties. Political parties should also present their accounts in the public domain. We are entering a very critical phase with the upcoming Parliamentary elections and it is important to keep the entire exercise free from money and muscle power to preserve our democracy.”

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