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SBI furnishes electoral bonds details to the Election Commission of India

The details were furnished a day after the Supreme Court dismissed SBI’s plea seeking an extension to disclose details of each electoral bond encashed by political parties before the scheme was scrapped last month.

On Tuesday (12th March), the State Bank of India (SBI) submitted data on Electoral bonds to the Election Commission of India in compliance with the Supreme Court’s directions issued on 15th February and reiterated yesterday on 11th March 2024, the poll body said. The data will be collated and released by ECI – which has confirmed receipt of the data – by 5 pm Friday, as ordered.

Taking to X, the Spokesperson of ECI confirmed the development stating, “In compliance of Hon’ble Supreme Court’s directions to the SBI, contained in its order dated Feb 15 & March 11, 2024 (in the matter of WPC NO.880 of 2017), data on electoral bonds has been supplied by State Bank of India to Election Commission of India, today, March 12, 2024.”

The details of the sale and purchase of electoral bonds shared by the SBI are in a raw form, India Today reported citing sources. The raw data reveals who bought bonds worth how much and in favour of which political party.

The source added that the data is being uploaded in a phased manner, with plans to release it all together on the evening of 15th March.

As per NDTV, the Chairman and Managing Director of SBI has not yet filed the affidavit confirming compliance with the court order. This is, however, ready and will be submitted on Wednesday, the report added.

Yesterday, on March 11th, the Supreme Court dismissed SBI’s plea seeking an extension to disclose details of each electoral bond encashed by political parties before the scheme was scrapped last month.

The apex court noted that the SBI doesn’t need to complete the matching exercise linking donors with the political parties but rather simply reveal the data of how much different political parties received in donations and who donated through electoral bonds.

The court directed SBI to disclose the details by the close of business hours on March 12. It further instructed the ECI to compile the information and publish the details on its official website no later than March 15, 2024, by 5 PM.

Last month, on 15th February, the Supreme Court deemed the electoral bond scheme “unconstitutional.” It instructed the SBI to provide details of all electoral bond purchases since April 12, 2019, to the Election Commission by March 6. Additionally, the court directed this information to be published on the Election Commission’s website by March 13. The apex court later dismissed SBI’s request to extend the deadline. 

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