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Revealing donors’ identity under Electoral bonds not in public interest, violates RTI

  • Posted By
    10Pointer
  • Categories
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    23rd Dec, 2020

Context

  • The Central Information Commission (CIC) ruled out that the disclosure of identity of electoral bond scheme donors will not serve any larger public interest and will violate provisions of the Act itself.

What is Electoral bond scheme?

  • The Finance Bill, 2017 introduced “Electoral bonds” as interest-free bearer instruments (like Promissory Notes).
  • The scheme was notified on January 2, 2018
  • These instruments will be available for purchase from the State Bank of India within a designated window of 10 days in every quarter of the financial year. 
  • The scheme allows individuals and domestic companies to present these bonds.
  • These bonds will be issued in multiples of Rs 1,000, Rs 10,000, Rs 1 lakh, Rs 10 lakh, and Rs 1 crore.
  • They will be issued to political parties of their choice, which have to redeem them within 15 days.
  • Buyers of the bonds have to submit full KYC details at the time of buying.
  • But the beneficiary political party is not required to reveal the identity of the entity that has given it the bond(s).

How will electoral bonds help?

  • Electoral bonds are taken as a big step towards electoral reform to bring transparency and accountability.

What CIC has to say?

  • Disclosure of names of donors and the donees may be in contravention of provisions contained in section 8 (1) (e) ( j ) of the RTI Act itself, which exempt a public authority to give a citizen information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrant the disclosure of such information.

Central Vigilance Commission (CIC)

  • The Central Vigilance Commission was setup by a Government Resolution in 1964.
  • The Commission was accorded the status of independent statutory authority through the Central Vigilance Commission Act, 2003.

Vision

  • As the apex integrity institution, the Commission is mandated to fight corruption and to ensure integrity in public administration.

The Commission shall consist of:

  • A Central Vigilance Commissioner - Chairperson;
  • Not more than two Vigilance Commissioners - Members