Electoral Bonds: SC Dismisses SBI's Application Seeking More Time; Orders To Share Bond Details By Tomorrow

Electoral Bonds: SC Dismisses SBI's Application Seeking More Time; Orders To Share Bond Details By Tomorrow

The Supreme Court also ordered the Election Commission that all the data shared by SBI should be available on their official portal by March 15.

Rahul MUpdated: Tuesday, March 12, 2024, 07:17 AM IST
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Electoral Bonds: SC Dismisses SBI's Application Seeking More Time; Orders To Share Bond Details By Tomorrow |

New Delhi: The Supreme Court dismissed State Bank of India's (SBI) application seeking an extension of time, contempt plea against the bank on Monday. The application filed by the State Bank of India (SBI) had sought an extension of time, until June 30, for making details of encashed Electoral Bonds public. However, the apex court has ordered the bank to share all necessary details by tomorrow, business hours.

Supreme Court also warned SBI that it will initiate contempt proceedings against the SBI if the information on the electoral bonds is not furnished by tomorrow before the close of business hours. The apex court then also ordered the Election Commission that all the data shared by SBI should be available on their official portal by March 15.

The 5-judge Bench, comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna, B.R. Gavai, J.B. Padriwala, and Manoj Misra, addressed the contempt plea filed by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) against the State Bank of India (SBI). This plea accused the SBI of willfully disobeying the Supreme Court's order to disclose details of encashed Electoral Bonds to the Election Commission by March 6.

SBI's Reply Over Seeking More Time

SBI, in an application filed shortly before the deadline, cited the complexity and time-consuming nature of 'decoding' the Electoral Bonds and matching donors to donations. They argued that the three-week timeline provided by the court was insufficient.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan requested Chief Justice of India (CJI) Chandrachud to hear the contempt plea alongside SBI's application for an extension. CJI Chandrachud instructed Bhushan to email the registry, ensuring prompt action.

In a ruling on February 15, the Constitution Bench invalidated the Electoral Bonds Scheme, 2018, directing SBI to cease issuance immediately. It mandated SBI to submit details of Electoral Bonds purchased since April 2019 to the Election Commission by March 6 for publication on its website.

The court's verdict emphasized SBI's obligation to disclose specifics of each encashed Electoral Bond by political parties, including encashment date and denomination, within three weeks from the judgment date, i.e., by March 6, 2024.

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