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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

SC directs SBI to file details of electoral bond encashed by political parties by tomorrow


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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday rejected the application of State Bank of India (SBI) seeking an extension till June 30 to disclose details of each electoral bond encashed by political parties and directed SBI to file the details by March 12.

The Supreme Court also directed ECI to put the information of each electoral bond encashed by political parties on its website by 5 pm on March 15.

CJI D Y Chandrachud questions the delay in revealing the details of each electoral bond encashed by political parties.

CJI lashed out at SBI and said, “We passed the judgement on February 15, and today is March 11. What steps you have taken in the past 26 days? Nothing is stated by You, We expect some candour from the State Bank of India.’

Senior Advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the SBI told the Supreme Court, ‘We need a little more time to comply with your lordships’ order. We are having to collate all the information. Our process made sure that there was no correlation between the KYC and bond numbers.’

‘ We have not told you to match donor KYC with political parties. We have only asked that you disclose the available details to the EC. SBI can simply comply with the judgement by disclosing available information,’ the CJI said.

CJI further added that grounds for seeking an extension do not exist. SBI has KYC details, all details are available in the main branch of SBI.

SBI can simply open up the sealed covers and correlate the information, CJI said.

Harish Salve argued that we need to be able to match donor details with the political parties.

CJI asked Salve in the last 26 days, what progress had been made on matching.

SBI should have disclosed the extent of progress made with matching. We are given to understand that there is a number assigned to electoral bonds.

Harish Salve replied that the number is kept a secret, and to generate the number, you need to match the details. The bond number was not allowed into the core banking system, otherwise, senior bank officers could have sourced information.

CJI said it is a very serious matter for SBI to apply for an extension in this manner. And directed SBI to comply with their orders and file the details of each electoral bond by the close of business hours on March 12.

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