SBI Submits Electoral Bonds data to ECI; files compliance affidavit before Supreme Court

SBI Submits Electoral Bonds data to ECI; files compliance affidavit before Supreme Court

Total of 22,217 Electoral Bonds purchased, 22,030 (99%) redeemed between April 1, 2019 till February 15, 2024.

SBI submits compliance affidavit to Supreme Court submits Electoral Bond data to Election Commission
 "We were told that Electoral Bonds data was supposed to be a secret" - SBI to Supreme Court

State Bank of India, the country's largest lender and sole treasury for the infamous Electoral Bonds has submitted the data related to the Electoral Bonds to the Election Commission of India on 12 March and subsequently, has filed its compliance affidavit before the Supreme Court of India on Wednesday 13 March.

On 11 March, the Supreme Court had pulled down a plea by the State Bank of India to extend the submission deadline and the CJI DY Chandrachud stated willful disobedience of order and warned the lender of contempt proceedings of the data was not served before close of working hours on 12 March. The disclosure by SBI to the ECI mentions that between Apri 1-11, 2019, a total 3,346 Electoral Bonds were purchased, of which 1,609 (48%) were redeemed. In all, till 15 February 2024, a total 22,217 bonds were purchased and 22,030 (99%) bonds were redeemed.

While we are not inclined to exercise contempt jurisdiction at this time, we place SBI on notice that this court may be inclined to proceed against it for willful disobedience if it does not comply with directions by timelines indicated in this order - Supreme Court.

In a verdict in February, the Supreme Court held the Electoral Bonds scheme to be "Unconstitutional" and said it violated the Rights to Information. The SBI in turn has pleaded to extend the submission date to June 2024, which would be well past the General Elections.

In its compliance affidavit to the Supreme Court submitted on 13 March, the State Bank of India confirmed that 22,217 Electoral Bonds were purchased between April 1, 2019 and February 15, 2024. It said that the Bank has submitted comprehensive details of the Electoral Bonds Scheme to the Election Commission of India (ECI). The information submitted consists of names of purchasers and the denominations of the Electoral Bonds. It has also provided information related to the date of encashment of the EBs and the names of Political Parties that benefitted from the donations. The Supreme Court intervening in the Electoral Bonds matter substantiates the role of the Judiciary in maintaining the integrity and transparency of the democratic electoral process and funding to political parties.

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