The Supreme Court today directed the State Bank of India (SBI) to make a complete disclosure of all details related to electoral bonds, including the unique bond numbers that would disclose the link between the buyer and the recipient political party, by 21 March.

Additionally, it also directed the SBI chairman to file an affidavit before it by 5 pm on 21 March indicating that the bank has disclosed all the details.

“We had asked all details to be disclosed by the SBI which includes electoral bond numbers as well. Let SBI not be selective in disclosure,” the five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, also comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna, B R Gavai, J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, was quoted by PTI as saying.

The Election Commission of India on 17 March uploaded digitized data received from the Supreme Court registry on electoral bonds onto its website for the second time. The disclosed figures reveal substantial funding through electoral bonds, with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the forefront, having amassed Rs 6,986.5 crore since the inception of these bonds in 2018. Other prominent beneficiaries included West Bengal’s ruling party Trinamool Congress ( Rs 1,397 crore), Congress ( Rs 1,334 crore) and Bharat Rashtra Samithi ( Rs 1,322 crore), according to the latest data shared by the EC.

The issue of transparency in electoral funding has sparked debate, with various political parties offering differing perspectives. Live Mint reported that the DMK received most of its donations from a lottery firm, reached out to its donors to seek details of the electoral bonds as demanded by the Supreme Court in 2019 while the BJP cited the amendments to the Representation of People Act, 1951 and the relevant portions of the Reserve Bank of India Act and the Income Tax Act for not revealing its donors.

“It is duly submitted that the electoral bonds were introduced with the aim of bringing only accounted for funds in political funding while protecting the donors from any consequences, therefrom,” the BJP reportedly said in its letter to the Election Commission.

The Congress, for its part, reached out to the SBI seeking specifics on donors, bond amounts, and related banking transactions. In response, the SBI redirected the Congress to political parties for electoral bond details.

Similarly, the Samajwadi Party shared limited information on bonds received, while the DMK, having received a significant portion of its funding from Santiago Martin’s Future Gaming, has initiated efforts to obtain donor details, Live Mint reported.

MTNews Desk

One thought on “SC directs SBI to disclose all electoral bonds details including unique bond numbers”
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