Electoral Bond: Who has funded political parties through electoral bonds, its information cannot be made public. This decision has been taken by the Central Information Commission (CIC) on a petition. The petition demanded that the names of political parties’ donors be made public. CIC said that this information is not of public interest.
The CIC has upheld the decision of the State Bank of India (SBI). SBI had said on the petition of RTI activist Vihar Durve of Pune that the nature of the petition related to seeking information about who gave donations to political parties is personal. That is, according to SBI, this petition was filed for personal interest.
Durve says that the order given by the CIC is unacceptable because it does not mention the objections of the Election Commission, RBI, Law Ministry. Durve said that the CIC had brought six national parties under the RTI Act.
Information was sought on the basis of transparency and accountability
Durve, a Pune-based RTI activist, had sought information from SBI about who donated political parties. This donation is given through electoral bonds. These are purchased through select branches of SBI. Durve had asked SBI in his petition, who had bought these electoral bonds and through which political party got the funds. When SBI refused to give information, Durve appealed to the CIC and said that the role of SBI is to work in the public interest instead of working in the interests of political parties. Durve sought information on the basis of transparency and accountability.
Information related to electoral bonds Confidential
SBI, while referring to the Electoral Bonds Scheme 2018, said that this information is kept confidential and cannot be shared with any authority for any purpose. Information Commissioner Suresh Chandra rejected Durve’s arguments, saying that there is no huge public interest in this petition to override the right of privacy of the donor and the recipient. It is to violate the right of privacy of those who give and receive donations.