The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed that the long pending case challenging the controversial Electoral Bonds scheme will be listed for final hearing in the third week of March this year [Association for Democratic Reforms and anr vs Union of India Cabinet Secretary and ors]..A bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and PS Narasimha passed an order to that effect on Tuesday."Electoral Bonds case will be listed in third week of March for final hearing," the Court said.The Court on Tuesday also said that two other petitions, one raising the issue of bringing political parties under the Right to Information Act (RTI Act) and the other regarding the certification under Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) for political funding, are distinct from the electoral bonds case and will be heard separately.The Court issued notice on those two petitions and posted the same for further consideration in April."Let reply be filed to the political parties under RTI case, in 2 weeks. Regarding the FCRA issue, let reply be filed by end of February 2023. Political parties under RTI (to be heard) in early April and FCRA issue in the middle of April, 2023," the Court said..An electoral bond is an instrument in the nature of a promissory note or bearer bond which can be purchased by any individual, company, firm or association of persons provided the person or body is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India.The bonds, which are in multiple denominations, are issued specifically for the purpose of contribution of funds to political parties in its existing scheme in the country.Electoral bonds were introduced through Finance Act 2017, which in turn amended three other statutes - the RBI Act, the Income Tax Act and the Representation of People Act - for enabling introduction of such bonds.The 2017 Finance Act introduced a system of electoral bonds to be issued by any scheduled bank for the purpose of electoral funding.The Finance Act was passed as a money bill, which meant that it did not require the assent of Rajya Sabha.Various petitions are pending before the top court challenging at least five amendments made to different statutes through Finance Act 2017 on the ground that they have opened doors to unlimited, unchecked funding of political parties.The Supreme Court is hearing petitions challenging the scheme as well as a plea challenging a recent notification extending the period of sale of electoral bonds by 15 days during years when elections are scheduled to be held for State assemblies and Union Territories with legislature.The Central government in its affidavit has maintained that the electoral bonds scheme is most transparent.