In an exclusive interview with Asiaville, S Y Quraishi spoke about electoral bonds, his thoughts on complaints about EVMs, and why the country needs a collegiums system for choosing election commissioners.
As the current Chief Justice steps down, former chief election commissioner S Y Quraishi has criticised the inaction of the apex court in deciding on the anonymity attached to electoral bonds, an issue that has been pending before it since April.
“It is pity that the Supreme Court has not taken a decision,” Quraishi said in an exclusive interview with Asiaville. “Constitutional issues where democracy is in danger...should not be put on the back burner... Is it not an important issue for them?,” he asked in the interview last week.
Electoral Bonds, introduced by the Modi government, allows any Indian citizen to donate money to political parties anonymously, since January 2, 2018. Issued by the State Bank of India (SBI), the bonds are available in denominations from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1 crore.
A report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said that SBI issued bonds worth Rs 6,128 Crore between March 2018 and October 2019.
While the court, in an interim order on a petition filed by ADR in April, asked political parties to disclose the names of the anonymous donors in a sealed cover, it did not decide on the Election Commission’s plea to allow revealing of the names of the donors,
“Why should a donor want secrecy? Very clear that it is to hide quid-pro-quo,” Quraishi said. “It is not acceptable.”