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Business News/ News / India/  SBI requests Supreme Court to extend deadline for sharing electoral bond data till June 30
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SBI requests Supreme Court to extend deadline for sharing electoral bond data till June 30

State Bank of India requests extension for providing data on electoral bonds to Election Commission after Supreme Court annulled the scheme and asked for disclosure of bond details by February 15.

SBI has requested the Supreme Court an extension to provide the Election Commission with the required information regarding electoral bonds. (HT_PRINT)Premium
SBI has requested the Supreme Court an extension to provide the Election Commission with the required information regarding electoral bonds. (HT_PRINT)

The State Bank of India has sought additional time to furnish the Election Commission with data on electoral bonds. The development comes in the wake of a recent Supreme Court verdict that annulled the electoral bonds scheme that had previously allowed for anonymous funding to political parties. SBI has been asked to disclose details of each electoral bond encashed by political parties to the Election Commission by March 6. 

“SBI shall submit the details of political parties which have received contributions through electoral bonds since the interim order of this court dated April 12, 2019 till date to the ECI. SBI must disclose details of each electoral bond encashed by political parties which shall include the date of encashment and the denomination of the electoral bond," the court had said.

The top court held that the scheme introduced in 2018 was "violative" of the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression and right to information. The Bench led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud also disagreed with the Centre's contention that it was meant to bring about transparency and curb black money in political funding.

ALSO READ: Electoral bonds scrapped: What about status of benefits assured to taxpayers?

The SBI application before the Supreme Court meanwhile contended that retrieval of information from "each silo" and the procedure of matching the information of one silo to that of the other was a time-consuming exercise. The plea submitted that due to stringent measures undertaken to ensure that the identity of the donors was kept anonymous, "decoding' the electoral bonds and matching donors to the donations made would be a complex process.

The plea submitted that data related to the issuance of the bond and the data related to the redemption of the bond was kept recorded in two different silos. No central database was maintained in order to ensure donors' anonymity. Their details were kept in a sealed cover at the designated branches and all such sealed covers were deposited in the Main Branch of the Applicant bank in Mumbai. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 04 Mar 2024, 07:26 PM IST
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