Citing ‘practical difficulties’, SBI moves Supreme Court for extension of time to disclose electoral bonds’ details : The Tribune India

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Citing ‘practical difficulties’, SBI moves Supreme Court for extension of time to disclose electoral bonds’ details

In a landmark verdict, a five-judge Constitution Bench led by CJI DY Chandrachud had on February 15 declared unconstitutional the electoral bonds scheme

Citing ‘practical difficulties’, SBI moves Supreme Court for extension of time to disclose electoral bonds’ details

In its verdict last month, the top court directed the SBI to furnish the details to the poll panel by March 6.



Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

New Delhi, March 4

Citing “certain practical difficulties”, the State Bank of India (SBI) on Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking an extension of time till June 30 to disclose details of each electoral bond encashed by political parties.

“It is, therefore, respectfully submitted that the timeline of three weeks fixed by the court in its judgment dated February 15 would not be sufficient for the entire exercise to be completed. Therefore, an extension of time may kindly be granted by this Hon’ble Court in order to enable the SBI to comply with the judgment,” the SBI said in an application filed in the top court, days before announcement of 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

In a landmark verdict, a five-judge Constitution Bench led by CJI DY Chandrachud had on February 15 declared unconstitutional the electoral bonds scheme that allowed individuals and companies to make unlimited anonymous donations to political parties on the grounds that it violated Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution which guaranteed right to freedom of speech and expression and included right to information within its ambit.

The top court had ordered the SBI to stop issuing Electoral Bonds immediately and submit all details by March 6 to the Election Commission which shall make all donations public by March 13. All Electoral Bonds within the 15-day validity period shall be returned by political parties to the purchasers, it had said.

The disclosure of information regarding electoral bonds was necessary to identify corruption and quid pro quo transactions in governance and such information was also necessary for exercising an informed vote, the Bench had said.

However, maintaining 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, without any central database, to protect donors’ anonymity required under the law, the SBI said retrieval of information from “each silo” and the procedure of matching the information of one silo to that of the other would be a complex and time-consuming exercise.

 “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 SBI submitted.

 

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#Justice DY Chandrachud #State Bank of India SBI #Supreme Court


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