Funding’s received by political parties for the purpose of participating in election has always been a highly debated topic with specific reference to the source of such funding. However, with reference to corporate funding to political parties in lieu of the recent amendments to specific legislations, a PIL challenging the specific amendments to such contribution was dismissed by the Kerala High Court in view of the relation between the contributions and the public voters.
Mr. Victor T Thomas, the Petitioner, had challenged some amendments in the Companies Act, 2013, the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, which enable political parties in India to receive a contribution from companies. The Petitioner had stated that the contribution received by such political parties would enable the donor corporate to influence on how votes are cast in the election process and it will indirectly enable the companies force the party in power to disregard welfare measures for the people and adopt such anti-people policies which will serve the cause of the donor corporate.
The Bench of the Kerala High Court, comprising of Hon’ble Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice A.K Jayasankarana Nambiar, made the observation that the election process, as per the election laws in India, provided for a sufficient safeguard to the voters in order to better cast their individual votes. Rejecting the PIL, the Bench observed:
“4. In the above circumstances, it cannot be said that contribution of the corporates to the coffers of the political parties will have any bearing on how voters exercise their franchise, in favour of one party or the other”
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