SC refers pleas challenging electoral bond scheme to 5-judge constitution bench


The Supreme Court on Monday referred a batch of petitions challenging the validity of the electoral bond scheme for political party funding to a five-judge Constitution bench. Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud, along with Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, noted that they had received an application requesting that the matter, being of utmost urgency, be transferred to a larger bench for a definitive ruling.
The bench scheduled the matter for a hearing on October 30, which was the previously fixed date. Earlier, the bench had acknowledged the submissions of lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who argued that the issue required adjudication before the electoral bond scheme became operational for the 2024 general elections. Consequently, the bench had decided to set it for a final hearing. There are currently four Public Interest Litigations (PILs) pending concerning this matter. In one of these PILs, a petitioner had stated in March that a total of Rs 12,000 crore had been channeled to political parties through electoral bonds, with a significant portion going to a single major political party.