SC denies SBI request, mandates swift electoral bond disclosure

The apex court has mandated the country’s largest bank to submit the information by the close of business hours on March 12, Tuesday. The court has warned of contempt proceedings if the order is not adhered to within the specified timeline.

| Updated: 11 March, 2024 3:04 pm IST
Supreme court rejects SBI's plea, orders swift disclosure of electoral bond details

NEW DELHI: In a decisive move, the Supreme Court of India has dismissed the State Bank of India’s (SBI) request for an extension until June 30 to reveal details of electoral bonds to the Election Commission. The apex court has mandated the country’s largest bank to submit the information by the close of business hours on March 12, Tuesday. The court has warned of contempt proceedings if the order is not adhered to within the specified timeline.

The Supreme Court, in a landmark decision on February 15, had declared the Centre’s electoral bonds scheme, allowing anonymous political funding, as “unconstitutional.”

ALSO READ: Supreme Court criticises DMK’s Udayanidhi Stalin for remarks

As part of this ruling, the SBI was directed to disclose donor details, donation amounts, and recipients by March 13. Despite the clear directive, the SBI sought an extension, arguing that the information, stored in two separate silos in its branches, required additional time for collation.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, representing the SBI, claimed a need for three weeks to complete the exercise. However, the court emphasized that it had only asked for a plain disclosure and criticised the bank’s lack of action over the past 26 days.

ALSO READ: SC declares electoral bonds scheme unconstitutional ahead of Lok Sabha polls

The bench, comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices Sanjiv Khanna, B R Gavai, J B Pardiwala, and Manoj Misra, highlighted the SBI’s readiness to provide the information, rendering an extension unnecessary.

The court directed the SBI to disclose the details promptly, cautioning that contempt proceedings could be initiated if the timelines were not met. Additionally, the Supreme Court ordered the Election Commission to compile and publish the electoral bond details received from the SBI on its official website by 5 pm on March 15.

This move aims to ensure transparency in political funding, aligning with the court’s commitment to upholding democratic principles.

Also Read Story

Two terrorists killed in Kupwara encounter

Two Army personnel injured in Doda encounter

CM Yogi Adityanath concludes strategy meeting for upcoming by-elections

NASSCOM urges withdrawal of Karnataka’s State Employment Bill