Home India News Supreme Court criticized SBI regarding the Electoral Bonds Case, instructing them to reveal all details by March 21

Supreme Court criticized SBI regarding the Electoral Bonds Case, instructing them to reveal all details by March 21

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On Monday, the Supreme Court granted the State Bank of India (SBI) until Thursday (March 21) at 5 pm to disclose all possible information it holds about electoral bonds, including the unique alphanumeric number associated with each bond. This disclosure aims to uncover the connection between the purchaser and the political party receiving the bond.


It is undeniable that SBI must provide all available details, including alphanumeric and serial numbers of purchased bonds. To prevent future controversies, the bank’s chairperson should submit an affidavit by 5 PM Thursday confirming full disclosure and no withholding of information. CJI emphasized that SBI should disclose without being selective, showing trust in their transparency.

The court directed SBI’s CMD to file an affidavit affirming no withholding of electoral bond documents.

Following the hearing, SBI’s shares nearly reached the day’s lowest point.

The court made it clear that it deliberately chose not to request authorities to disclose details of electoral bonds bought and cashed before April 12, 2019. Consequently, the court rejected a plea to unveil bond details before April 2019.

During the hearing, senior advocate Harish Salve, representing SBI, informed the court that while SBI was willing to disclose the bond details, it had interpreted the order differently. CJI emphasized that SBI should disclose information without being selective, expressing confidence in SBI’s openness and fairness.

This development occurred after the apex court issued a notice to SBI on March 15 for failing to provide alphanumeric numbers on the bonds to the poll panel despite the court’s judgment instructing them to do so.

The ongoing Electoral Bonds issue

In February 2024, the Supreme Court declared electoral bonds unconstitutional due to the lack of transparency in funding political parties, citing citizens’ right to information. The court instructed SBI to provide all electoral bond data.

However, on March 4, SBI requested an extension until June 30 to disclose details of bonds encashed by political parties. The court rejected the request, ordering SBI to share the information with EC by March 12 and for EC to publish it by March 15.

While SBI cited the need for time to match donors with parties, the Supreme Court clarified that such matching wasn’t necessary; SBI should share available details.

Consequently, SBI provided electoral bond details to ECI on March 12, and on March 14, EC published them.

On March 17, ECI released further data on electoral bonds, including amounts redeemed per party, following the apex court’s order to return details submitted in November 2023.

You might also be interested in – Supreme Court to listen to SBI’s request for a deadline extension on disclosing information about electoral bonds on March 11

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