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Monday, June 24, 2024

SC directs SBI to disclose unique alpha numeric numbers of electoral bonds

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the State Bank of India for not disclosing the Alpha Numeric Number of the Electoral Bonds in the data that it submitted to the Election Commission of India (ECI) two days ago and asked them to submit by Monday, March 18.

The court order came while hearing the plea of ECI, who sought the return of sealed documents to them, and said, “SBI has not disclosed the Alpha Numeric Number of the Electoral Bonds. We direct Registry to issue notice to SBI returnable on Monday. A copy of this order should be sent to the Standing Counsel of the SBI,” the bench said.

ECI had filed an application seeking clarification of the Supreme Court’s earlier order, and it sought the return of some documents submitted to the Apex Court in sealed cover, as it did not have copies of the same.

A Constitutional bench headed by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud allowed the application of the ECI, directing the Registrar Judicial to scan and digitize the same and make them available to Mr. Amit Sharma, the counsel for the ECI, for publishing on its website. The Court asked as to who appeared for SBI.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the bench that SBI was not a party to the proceedings and had just filed an application, which was disposed of.

On March 13, the State Bank of India filed a compliance affidavit before the Supreme Court concerning its directions to disclose the details of electoral bonds by the end of the day on March 12, 2024.

SBI then submitted an affidavit saying that it has furnished details of such bonds purchased since April 12, 2019, saying that decoding them is a complex exercise and would require time.

On February 15, 2024, the Supreme Court quashed the Electoral Bonds scheme for donations to political parties as unconstitutional. The court directed the SBI to furnish all the information on bonds to the Election Commission by March 6, 2024, and further directed it to upload the details on its website.

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