The party-wise donations from electoral bonds between FY 2017-18 and FY 2022-23 show the ruling BJP getting the highest share at 54.7%, followed by the Congress party at 9.37% and All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) at 9.1%. In terms of the value of these electoral bonds, BJP received maximum contributions worth ₹6,566.125 crore, followed by Congress at ₹1,123.3 crore and AITC at ₹1,092.9 crore.

In a landmark verdict just a few months before the General Elections in India, the Supreme Court on Thursday struck down the Electoral Bond Scheme, calling it “unconstitutional”.

Petitioner no. 1, Association for Democratic Reforms’ (ADR) submission in the Supreme Court listed the BJP leading in terms of party-wise donation by corporate houses, too.

The BJP received a total of ₹3,299.85 crore between FY17 and FY22 from the corporate houses, followed by the Congress party at ₹406.45 crore and NCP at ₹109.5 crore. CPI (M), and AITC received funds worth ₹29.1 crore and ₹49.7 crore via electoral bonds, respectively, the data shows. Party-wise donations by corporate houses has been more or less stagnant from the years 2016-17 to 2021-22.

“Electoral Bonds income between the years 2018-19 to 2021-22 constituted 58% of the total income of national political parties,” shows the SC judgement.

Analysis of the data of denomination or sale of bonds shows that more than 50% of the bonds in number, and 94% of the Bonds in value terms were for ₹1 crore.

A total of ₹12,999 crore worth of electoral bonds were sold with 1 crore denomination, and this formed a majority of 94.25% of the transactions.

A total of 7,618 electoral bonds of 10 lakh denomination accounted for funds worth ₹761.80 crore, just around 5.52% of the total collected value. The percentage of the number of electoral bonds with denominations 1 lakh, 10,000 and 1,000 stood at just 12.86%, 0.86% and 0.41%, respectively.

"This supports our reasoning and conclusion on the application of the doctrine of proportionality. This is indicative of the quantum of corporate funding through the anonymous Bonds," the Supreme Court said in its observation.

The 74-page SC judgement also shows that the share of income from “unknown sources” for national parties rose from 66% during the years 2014-15 to 2016-17 to 72% during the years 2018-19 to 2021-22. "Between the years 2019-20 to 2021-22, Bond income has been 81% of the total unknown income of national parties. The total unknown income, that is donations made under ₹20,000/-, sale of coupons etc. has not shown ebbing and has substantially increased from ₹2,550 crores during the years 2014-15 to 2016-17 to ₹8,489 crores during the years 2018-19 to 2021-22," the apex court observed.

Separately, revealing this information in Parliament during the recent Budget session on February 5, 2024, the finance ministry had said the total value of electoral bonds purchased in all the phases so far from the State Bank of India was at ₹16,518 crore.

Centre had notified the Electoral Bond Scheme in the year 2018 with an aim to ensure "clean tax paid money" flows into the system of political funding through proper banking channels. However, the SC bench said information about corporate contributors through these bonds must be disclosed as these donations are purely for "quid pro quo" purposes.

"The Electoral Bond Scheme...are violative of Article 19-1A and unconstitutional. The deletion of the provision to section 182-1 of the Company's Act, providing an unlimited corporate contribution to the political parties, is arbitrary and violative of Article 14," Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said.

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