SBI seeks more time from Supreme Court for disclosing electoral bond details | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

SBI seeks more time from Supreme Court for disclosing electoral bond details

Mar 04, 2024 08:10 PM IST

The Supreme Court had directed the bank to disclose the details of electoral bonds.

New Delhi: The State Bank of India has moved the Supreme Court seeking an extension of the deadline till June 30 for disclosing details of electoral bonds encashed by political parties.

The State Bank of India logo. (Reuters)
The State Bank of India logo. (Reuters)

In an application filed in the Supreme Court, the State Bank of India, the country's biggest lender, said the retrieval of information from "each silo" and the procedure of matching the information of one silo to that of the other would be a time-consuming exercise.

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In its plea, SBI contended it had taken stringent measures to protect the identity of those who donated to political parties. Now decoding the electoral bonds and matching donors with the donations is likely to be a complex process, the bank told the court.

"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 bank said.

The bank told the court that donors' details were kept sealed at some branches. They were later deposited in the main branch of the applicant bank, located in Mumbai.

"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," the bank said.

Also read: Electoral bonds: What Supreme Court judges said in their landmark judgement

In a landmark judgement that delivered a big blow to the government, the Supreme Court on February 15 annulled the electoral bonds scheme for political funding, saying it violates the Constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression as well as the right to information. In its verdict months ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the apex court ordered SBI to disclose to the Election Commission the names of the contributors to the six-year-old scheme.

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud directed that the SBI must disclose details of each electoral bond encashed by political parties. The information should include the date of encashment and the denomination of the bonds and be submitted to the poll panel by March 6.

With inputs from PTI

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