The Supreme Court on Thursday ( 15 February 2024 ) delivered its highly-anticipated judgment in the electoral bonds case, holding that anonymous electoral bonds are in violation of the right to information under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. Accordingly, the scheme has been struck down as unconstitutional. Case details: Association for Democratic Reforms & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors. | Writ Petition (Civil) No. 880 of 2017

Electoral Bond was a mode of funding to the political parties in India. The scheme of Anonymous Electoral Bond was introduced in The Finance Bill, 2017 during the Union Budget 2017-18. It was struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court on 15 February 2024. The election funding system, which was in place for seven years, was stopped with immediate effect by a five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice D. Y. Chandrachud, who directed the State Bank of India to stop issuing these bonds and called the scheme “violative of RTI (Right to Information).

To understand why electoral bonds were introduced, we must go back to the era before 2014. There were terrorist attacks in which civilians were killed, Kashmir was ruled by separatists, and stone pelting and attacks on the army were common, there is news that says that RBI’s old printing machines were sold to Pakistan and there was a huge amount of black money and counterfeit notes was widely  in circulation and it was used to destabilize Kashmir and our country.  There is no rebuttal to this news.

The NPA of Banks was about 250 lakh crores. Loans were disbursed on the phone. The entire country was gripped in negativity and there was no hope left.

In 2014, the country decided to change the mandate and chose the NDA government. After coming into power, they started working on serious and critical issues. They came into power, with the promise to wipe out black money from the economy.


Consequences of Demonetization:

On 8 November 2016, the Government of India announced the demonetization of all ₹500 and ₹1,000 banknotes of the Mahatma Gandhi Series. Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed that the action would curtail the shadow economy, increase cashless transactions, and reduce the use of illicit and counterfeit cash to fund illegal activity and terrorism. According to a 2018 report from the Reserve Bank of India ₹15.3 lakh crore (15.3 trillion rupees on the short scale) of the ₹15.41 lakh crore in demonetized bank notes, or approximately 99.3%, were deposited in banks, leading analysts to state that the effort had failed to remove black money from the economy. The BSE SENSEX and NIFTY 50 stock indices fell over 6% on the day after the announcement. The move reduced the country’s industrial production and its GDP growth rate. It is estimated that 1.5 million jobs were lost. The move also saw a significant increase in digital and cashless transactions throughout the country. (courtesy Wikipedia). Common citizens cooperated for the better future of this country.

Introduction of Electoral Bond Scheme:

On 2nd of January 2018 Electoral Bond Scheme was notified. What was the intention,  listen to what then Finance Minister Late Mr. Arun Jaitley said in parliament while introducing the said Election Bond Scheme.

It was widely accepted by donors and donee for funding political parties.

Whether a true Parliamentary Democracy prevails?

But in this country every good law is opposed on the streets and parliament is invisibly controlled by street demonstrations not only that some international characters are also roped into as tool-kits, and it has become a common act that every action of parliament is questioned in the Court of law. So where is Parliamentary democracy? Where does it lie? The question is, can Parliamentary Democracy survive like this ? If you pressure and take Parliament to hostage on every issue, create law and order situation, and challenge the authority of rule making authority which is an institution that is  elected by representatives to make laws, and, force them to withdraw laws from the street, or challenge every action in court, one day there will be an emergency to control all these forces who want to create uncertainty and pull down progress on 140 crores. These are the factors which are hampering democracy. They lure the sitting government in  power to impose an emergency when the boiling point is crossed it will be a reality. If that is the case people are now scared even to act on any legislation because they don’t know who will challenge it and get it abrogated. This brings uncertainty in the implementation of law and order. This is a warning signal for all those who take to the streets for the withdrawal of laws and then the same bunch wants laws that are withdrawn.

With due respect instead of quashing the notification of electoral bond, the Hon’ble Supreme Court ought to have suggested some alternative to trace the donors. We have seven crore cases pending which need to be heard on an urgent basis.


This matter may be referred to the President of India who should raise queries under Article 143 of the Constitution.

Shruti Desai

13th March 2024.