Electoral Bonds case: EC moves application seeking modification of SC judgment, hearing tomorrow

Electoral Bonds case: The Elections Commission said it has not retained any copies of the documents to maintain confidentiality. So, to upload those details, it asked the court to return the sealed cover envelopes.

Written By Akriti Anand
Updated14 Mar 2024
The Election Commission of India uploaded the details of the electoral bonds on the website on March 13.
The Election Commission of India uploaded the details of the electoral bonds on the website on March 13.(HT_PRINT)

The Election Commission of India (ECI) moved an application seeking modification of the Supreme Court judgment in the electoral bonds case on Thursday. The move came soon after the poll body uploaded the details of the electoral bonds issued to political parties on its website.

In its application, the ECI requested the Supreme Court to return to it the sealed cover documents furnished by the ECI. The poll body said it has not retained any copies of the documents to maintain confidentiality. So, to upload those details, it asked the court to return the sealed cover envelopes, Live Law reported.

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"The modification plea seeks that data submitted to the court be returned to the poll body as the ECI had not maintained copies of the same," Bar and Bench reported.

The Supreme Court will now the matter regarding the compliance with its orders in connection with electoral bonds case. 

While scrapping the Centre's Electoral Bond scheme, the Supreme Court had asked the State Bank of India (SBI) to furnish details of the electoral bonds to the Elections Commission. It had also directed the Election Commission to disclose electoral bonds data by March 13.

On March 11, the Supreme Court also directed the ECI to upload the information regarding political parties' funding through the bonds — which were submitted before the Supreme Court in sealed covers pursuant to interim orders passed on April 12, 2019, and November 2, 2023.

As per Live Law, the Election Commission, in its latest application, pointed out that in the March 11 order, the Supreme Court had observed, "Copies of the statements which were filed by the ECI before this Court would be maintained in the Office of the ECI". Mentioning that it has not retained any copies of the documents, the ECI sought a modification of the above observation in the order.

What has happened so far

Partially complying with the Supreme Court's order, the SBI submitted electoral bonds data to the Elections Commission on March 12. The Election Commission then published the data received from the SBI on its website on March 14.

The Election Commission said on Thursday that it had, in compliance with the Supreme Court's directions, uploaded the data on electoral bonds on its website as received from SBI on "as is where is basis".

On March 13, the SBI said that the data has been furnished in respect of bonds purchased and redeemed between April 12, 2019 to February 15, 2024. “A total of 22,217 bonds were purchased during the period April 1, 2019 till February 15, 2024,” the SBI told the Supreme Court.

The SBI informed that from April 12, 2019 to February 15, 2024, total number of electoral bonds purchased 18,871 and total number of bonds redeemed were 20,421, news agency PTI reported.

The electoral bonds scheme had allowed for anonymous funding to political parties.

(With inputs from agencies)

 

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