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SBI shares details of electoral bonds with Election Commission

The Election Commission will publish the details shared by SBI on its website by 5pm on Friday

SBI shares details of electoral bonds with Election Commission
[Source photo: Chetan Jha/Press Insider]

The State Bank of India (SBI) issued  a total of 22,217 electoral bonds from 1 April 2019 to 15 February 2024, out of which 22,030 were redeemed, according to details shared by the bank in compliance with a Supreme Court order.

The Supreme Court on Monday ordered SBI to share the details of electoral bonds with the Election Commission by the end of business hours on 12 March as it dismissed a plea by the lender seeking time till 30 June to furnish the information.

The apex court said the poll body will have to publish the details shared by SBI on its official website by 5 pm on Friday, 15 March.

In a compliance affidavit in the Supreme Court, SBI chairman Dinesh Kumar Khara said the bank has handed over files with the details of the purchasers, the date of purchase, and the denominations of the bonds. 

It has also handed over a second file to the ECI with details of political parties which encashed the bonds, the affidavit said. 

In a written reply to Parliament on 5 February this year, minister of state for finance Pankaj Chaudhary had said that the total value of electoral bonds purchased from SBI since its inception in 2018 was to the tune of ₹16,518 crore. 

Notified by the central government on 2 January 2018, the scheme allowed any citizen or entity incorporated in India to buy electoral bonds without disclosing their identity.

In its 15 February order, the Supreme Court quashed the scheme, and ordered SBI, the nodal bank that issued the bonds, to provide details of such bonds to the Election Commission by 6 March.

SBI, however, said more time was needed for collating the details and matching them as the information was kept in two silos. The lender sought an extension till 30 June to disclose the details. 

The bench, headed by Chief Justice D. Y. Chandrachud, also comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna, B. R. Gavai, J. B. Pardiwala, and Manoj Misra, said it had not directed for matching details of donors and donees with other information.

SBI had to just open the sealed cover, collate the details, and give the information to the Election Commission, the apex court said. 

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