SC Bar Association Condemns Adish Aggarwala's Letter to President Murmu on Electoral Bonds Judgement
Moneylife Digital Team 13 March 2024
A day after Dr Adish C Aggarwala sent a letter to President Draupadi Murmu requesting her to exercise her special powers to stop or delay the enforcement of the Supreme Court (SC) order on electoral bonds, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) has condemned the action of its president Dr Aggarwala terming it as "an attempt to overreach and undermine the authority of the Supreme Court." 
 
In a release, SCBA says, "The entire seven-page letter, having been printed on the letterhead of All India Bar Association (AIBA), appears to have been written by Dr Aggarwala in his capacity as the chairman of AIBA. However, it is noticed that below his signature on the said letter, he has interalia mentioned his designation as president of the SCBA."
 
"Therefore, it has become expedient for the executive committee of the SCBA to make it abundantly clear that the members of the committee have neither authorised the president (Dr Aggarwala) to write any such letter nor do they subscribe to his views as expressed therein. The executive committee of the SCBA further views this act, as well as the contents therein, as an attempt to overreach and undermine the authority of the Supreme Court of India and unequivocally condemn the same," the letter signed by Rohit Pandey, honorary secretary of SCBA, says.  
 
Following the apex court's judgement in the electoral bonds case, Dr Aggarwala wrote a letter to President Murmu, requesting a presidential reference. "Till the reference is heard and answered, the Supreme Court shall not give effect to its verdict of 11 March 2024," he says in the letter. 
 
The letter sent by Dr Aggarwala on the letterhead of AIBA further says, "The Supreme Court should not allow itself to deliver judgments that would create constitutional stalemate, undermine the majesty of the Parliament of India, the collective wisdom of the people's representatives gathered in the Parliament and create a question mark over the very democratic functioning of political parties themselves."
 
Last month, the Constitution bench of the SC declared the Union government's electoral bonds scheme unconstitutional, holding that the anonymous character of electoral bonds violated the right to information protected under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. 
 
The bench also directed SBI to submit details like the date of purchase, the name of the purchaser and the denomination of electoral bonds purchased since April 2019 to the election commission by 6th March for publication on the official website of the commission.
 
When SBI approached the apex court seeking an extension till 30th June for making details of the encashed electoral bonds public, the SC rejected the application. The constitution bench, headed by chief justice DY Chandrachud, ordered SBI to disclose the information by the close of business hours on 12th March. 
 
"Our judgment was issued on 15th February. Today, it is 11 March 2024. In the last 26 days, what is the extent of matching done by you? The affidavit is silent on this. We expect a degree of candour from the State Bank of India," the CJI says. The Court's observation has exposed the hubris and defiance of SBI which seemed to be in a hurry to comply with the apex court's order. SBI had sought an extension till 30 June 2024, which was dismissed by the Court.
 
As per the SC order, SBI submitted details of electoral bonds to the election commission by 5.30pm on Tuesday. 
 
The apex court had asked the election commission to upload all the data on its website by 15 March 2024 for the public.
Comments
trisha.sudhakar
1 month ago
SC's order on electoral bonds is laudable and must be respected.
jaishirali
1 month ago
If the public wants to know which businessmen or possibly criminals our politicians support by the 'business' of electoral bonds, just who is Mr Aggarwala to oppose that, unless he too has ulterior motives.
S.SuchindranathAiyer
1 month ago
It is good to see that the Milards on the Supreme Bench have an opposition, however, unviable.
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