Source: 
Hans India
https://www.thehansindia.com/news/national/ab-tera-kya-hoga-kalia-859436
Author: 
Dr H C UPADHYAY
Date: 
19.02.2024
City: 

In a historic verdict delivered on February 15, by a Constitution Bench of the Apex Court headed by the Chief Justice of Inida, D.Y.Chandrachud, the financial instrument called Electoral Bond (EB) has been scrapped once and for all.

In a historic verdict delivered on February 15, by a Constitution Bench of the Apex Court headed by the Chief Justice of Inida, D.Y.Chandrachud, the financial instrument called Electoral Bond (EB) has been scrapped once and for all.

The EB scheme was introduced in the year 2018 as an alternative to the cash donations to the political parties. But the experience suggests that instead of ensuring transparency in the political funding, the EB was used as a means of quid pro quo.

According to the petitioner, Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), since the inception of the EB Scheme in 2018, a sum of Rs 16,000 crores has been collected. Of this, 57% was the share of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The criteria for investment in EB was a minimum of Rs. 1,000 and a maximum of Rs. 1crore. Only 29 specified branches of the State Bank of India (SBI) were authorised to issue EBs. Any citizen or a company could purchase the EB and give to any political party as donation. There was complete opacity about the EBs that is why even the Law Commission in its 255th report had stated that non-transparency in election funding is like capturing the government by the bigwigs.

The verdict of the Supreme Court will have far reaching consequences on nation’s politics. The judgment has mainly dealt with 5 important points. First, the EB scheme was unconstitutional because it violates citizens’ Right to information. The non-disclosure of vital information about the political funding was like playing a fraud on electorate. Second, after this judgment the SBI will not be able to issue new EBs. On the other hand, the SBI has been directed to make available all the particulars of EBs already issued such as names and quantum of amount and the names of the recipient political parties on its websites. Third, the quid pro quo between the EB donors and recipient political parties will and from now onwards. The political funding will become more transparent. And fifth, the apex court has made it abundantly clear that to the Right to vote essentially entails the right to information.

At this juncture, we need to ponder over the crucial point of reducing the money-power and ensuring transparency in the electoral process. One way could be to offer tax incentives to donors, both corporate and non-corporate for giving donations to a common election fund. The money thus collected could be distributed among political parties and other groups who secure a minimum of 5% of the vote share. The amount to be paid to the political party should be in proportion to the both share secret by each of them. Though this is not a full proof or the only solution to do away with malice of black money vitiating the fair and meaningful elections, a beginning can be made to reform the present electoral process. In fact, most ideal way to conduct elections with a minimum of expenditure on the part of the candidates and parties would be to reduce the geographical size of constituencies by substantially increasing the number of elected representatives in parliament as well as legislatures. However, it remains to be same whether the powers bee’s are interested in doing away with ‘Kala dhan’ or just finding an excuse to continue with it.

SC ALTERS MURDER CHARGE TO SEC.304, PART II, IPC

In a judgement delivered on February 6 the division bench comprising Justice B.R Gavai and Justice P.S Narasimha altered the concurrent Judgements of the trial and appellate courts from Section 302 IPC to Section 304, Part II, IPC stating that suspicion however strong may be, cannot take the place of proof.

In a case titled, V Srinivas and another Vs. State of Andhra Pradesh and Others (Now, the State of Telangana), the Apex court held that insufficient evidence can not take the place of strong proof.

NO PRIOR SANCTION REQUIRED TO FILE FIR AGAINST A PUBLIC SERVANT

Justice Krishan Pahal of the Allahabad High Court has recently held that prior sanction under Section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 is not required at the stage of registration of an First Information Report (FIR). If it is required, it has to be obtained at the stage of presenting chargesheet before the magistrate, the Judge added.

Dealing with a case, titled Ranjeet Vs.State of Uttar Pradesh, the court cited the supporting case laws.

TELANGANA HC TO GET TWO MORE JUDGES

The Supreme Court collegium has acceded requests for transfer of Calcutta High Court judge, Justice Moushumi Bhattacharya and Madhya Pradesh High Court judge, Justice Sujoy Paul from their respective High Courts and recommended their posting to the Telangana High Court.

HINDI FILM PRODUCER CONVICTED

Noted Hindi film producer, director and script writer Rajkumar Santoshi has been found guilty of a cheque dishonour case by the court of Senior Civil Judge V.J Gadhvi of Jamnagar, Gujarat.

The court sentenced Rajkumar to two year jail term besides ordering him to pay to the Complainant, Ashok Lal, an industrialist a sum of Rs.2 crore. The case was filed by the Complainant under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act after ten cheques of Rs.10 lakh each issued by Rajkumar towards the repayment of the loan of Rs.1 crore given by the Complainant were dishonoured due to insufficient funds in the account.

At request, the court suspended the order for 30 days to enable Rajkumar to appeal against the judgement.

TS HC IMPOSES

`15 LAKH COST ON PETITIONER FOR SUPPRESSING FACTS

A single-judge bench of Nagesh Bhimapaka imposed the cost of Rs.15 lakh on a petitioner for supressing material facts. The court also directed that the amount should be paid to the Legal Services Authority within 4 weeks.

The petitioner Srinivas had taken a loan from Bharatiya Mutual Aided Cooperative Society to start a business in clothes. Due to Korona endemic he suffered losses, therefore, the Joint Registrar issued a notice to attach his house property. Thereupon, Srinivas approached a court and got the relief of instalment payment of his dues instead of one time payment. On default, he once again approached the court which ordered him to hand over the vacant possession of the house.

The petitioner approached the High Court on October 12, last year seeking the relief against auction of the house by supressing material facts. This enraged the court which ultimately imposed the costs.

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