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SBI submits data on Electoral Bonds to Election Commission, day after SC's rebuke
Photo courtesy: Avishek Mitra/IBNS

SBI submits data on Electoral Bonds to Election Commission, day after SC's rebuke

| @indiablooms | 12 Mar 2024, 08:55 pm

New Delhi: The State Bank of India (SBI) on Tuesday provided the Electoral Bonds data to the Election Commission of India (ECI), as per the strict directive from the Supreme Court issued on Monday, media reports said.

Despite SBI's request for an extension, the bench led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud rejected it and directed the bank to reveal the electoral bonds information to the Election Commission by the end of business hours on March 12th, according to the reports.

The poll panel will compile and publish the data by 5 pm on Friday in accordance with the court's instructions.

However, the Chairman and Managing Director of the bank have not yet submitted the affidavit confirming their compliance with the court's order.

In yesterday's hearing, the bank argued that the process of collecting, cross-referencing, and disclosing the data, which is kept in two distinct "silos" to maintain confidentiality on both ends, would require considerable time and effort.

Citing the difficulties, the bank sought time till June 30 to submit the data, which is much later than the Lok Sabha elections

The apex court pointed out that the donor details were already accessible at SBI’s Mumbai branch, and all the bank needed to do was to "open covers, collate details, and provide information".

The electoral bond system was introduced to replace cash donations to political parties with the aim to enhance transparency in political funding. It is worth noting that since 2018 when the scheme was introduced, SBI has issued Electoral Bonds totalling Rs 16,518 crore across 30 tranches.

However, in a landmark ruling last month, the Supreme Court declared the electoral bond scheme "unconstitutional," stating that it violated citizens' right to information.

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