SBI submits electoral bonds data to Election Commission: A timeline of what has happened so far

Introduced in 2017, the electoral bonds scheme allowed people to make any amount of donation to political parties of their choice while maintaining anonymity.

Sharmila Bhadoria
Updated12 Mar 2024
The electoral bonds scheme was promoted as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties and bring transparency to political funding.
The electoral bonds scheme was promoted as an alternative to cash donations made to political parties and bring transparency to political funding.

The State Bank of India (SBI) on March 12 submitted the details of electoral bonds to the Election Commission (EC) of India after the Supreme Court ordered the bank to disclose the details. The apex court also ordered the poll body to publish the details shared by the SBI on its official website by 5 pm on March 15.

What is the electoral bond scheme?

The electoral bond scheme was introduced by the Narendra Modi-led government to facilitate political funding in India. Introduced in 2017, the electoral bond scheme enabled individuals and corporate groups to donate money (without any capping) to their desired political parties, without disclosing their identity. For donations, people can purchase bonds from the SBI.

In February this year, the Supreme Court scrapped the seven-year-old election funding system. In its landmark judgement, the apex court scrapped the central government's electoral bonds scheme that allowed anonymous political funding, calling it “unconstitutional”.

One of the prominent features of the electoral bonds was the anonymity of the donors. As per the scheme, when an individual or a corporation donated to any political party, the details of the donation remain confidential.

Why did the SC scrap the electoral bond scheme?

The Supreme Court struck down the electoral bond scheme on February 15 because it violated the voters' right to information regarding political parties’ sources of funding.

The apex court also struck down the amendments made to key laws on electoral finance which were brought after the introduction of the scheme. While declaring the electoral bonds scheme unconstitutional, the Supreme Court bench, led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, highlighted that the anonymous character of electoral bonds violated the right to information protected under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution. The bench also directed the SBI to disclose the details of contributions received by political parties through electoral bonds by March 6, 2024.

Timeline of electoral bonds case

2017: The electoral bond scheme was introduced in the Finance Bill during the Union Budget 2017-18. 

On September 14, 2017, an NGO named 'Association for Democratic Reforms', challenged the scheme in the Supreme Court.

Months later, the apex court issued notices to the central government and the Election Commission on the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the NGO on October 3, 2017.

2018: On January 2, 2018, the Central government notified the electoral bond scheme.

2022: On November 7, 2022, the scheme was amended to expand the sale days from 70 days to 85 days in a year when any assembly election may be scheduled.

2023: The year marked the beginning of the hearing of the electoral bonds case in the Supreme Court. The case was heard by a five-judge Constitution bench, headed by CJI DY Chandrachud.

On October 16, 2023, the SC bench referred pleas against the scheme to a five-judge Constitution bench.

On October 31, 2023, the SC bench commenced the hearing on pleas against the scheme. The apex court reserved its verdict in the case on November 2, 2023.

2024: The judgement in the case was delivered by the apex court on February 14, 2024. The SC delivered unanimous judgment annulling the scheme, saying it violates the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression as well as the right to information.

On March 4, 2024, the SBI moved the top court for an extension of the deadline till June 30 to disclose details of each electoral bond encashed by political parties.

On March 7, a plea was filed in the SC seeking contempt action against the SBI, alleging it "willfully and deliberately" disobeyed the apex court's direction. On March 11, an SC bench dismissed the SBI's plea seeking an extension of time and also directed it to furnish the details of electoral bonds to the Election Commission by March 12.

 

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.MoreLess
HomeNewsIndiaSBI submits electoral bonds data to Election Commission: A timeline of what has happened so far

Most Active Stocks

Bharat Electronics

309.55
10:29 AM | 14 JUN 2024
8.6 (2.86%)

Indian Oil Corporation

170.30
10:25 AM | 14 JUN 2024
1.2 (0.71%)

HDFC Bank

1,597.45
10:28 AM | 14 JUN 2024
16.55 (1.05%)

State Bank Of India

840.20
10:29 AM | 14 JUN 2024
-3.7 (-0.44%)
More Active Stocks

Market Snapshot

  • Top Gainers
  • Top Losers
  • 52 Week High

JK Paper

490.70
10:25 AM | 14 JUN 2024
44.35 (9.94%)

KRBL

310.05
10:22 AM | 14 JUN 2024
23.05 (8.03%)

Poly Medicure

2,003.00
09:59 AM | 14 JUN 2024
142.9 (7.68%)

KEC International

935.20
10:25 AM | 14 JUN 2024
66.25 (7.62%)
More from Top Gainers

Recommended For You

    More Recommendations

    Gold Prices

    • 24K
    • 22K
    Bangalore
    73,950.000.00
    Chennai
    73,160.000.00
    Delhi
    73,663.000.00
    Kolkata
    73,016.000.00

    Fuel Price

    • Petrol
    • Diesel
    Bangalore
    102.86/L0.00
    Chennai
    100.75/L0.00
    Kolkata
    103.94/L0.00
    New Delhi
    94.72/L0.00
    OPEN IN APP
    HomeMarketsPremiumInstant LoanGet App