SBI seeks extension of March 6 deadline to disclose details of electoral bonds | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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SBI seeks extension of March 6 deadline to disclose details of electoral bonds

Mar 04, 2024 08:19 PM IST

SBI seeks extension of March 6 deadline disclose details of electoral bonds.

The State Bank of India (SBI) on Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking an extension of the March 6 deadline to furnish information on electoral bonds to the Election Commission. In an application filed before the top court, the state-run SBI, the sole issuer of the anonymous donation instruments, contended that the three weeks time fixed by the court would not be sufficient for the entire exercise to be completed. (Also Read: What are electoral bonds? Did they give BJP an unfair advantage?)

The Supreme Court of India. (AP)
The Supreme Court of India. (AP)

The bank 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.

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“It submitted that the 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. This was done to ensure that donors' anonymity would be protected,” the plea said.

"It is submitted that donor 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, which is located in Mumbai," it added.

The bank urged the apex court to extend the deadline to June 30.

Also Read: SC's electoral bonds scheme verdict: How BJP stands to lose the most?

The Supreme Court dealt a major blow to the BJP-led central government last month by declaring the electoral bonds scheme unconstitutional. A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud directed the SBI to disclose details of each electoral bond encashed by political parties, including the date of encashment and the denomination of the bonds, to the Election Commission.

Critics of the anonymous funding scheme, of which the ruling BJP was the biggest beneficiary, saw the verdict as significant and timely ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

To be sure, there are no curbs on the absolute amount of political funding and can still be carried out through other means.

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