Millennium Post (Kolkata)

SBI moves SC seeking extension of time for electoral bonds disclosure

- OUR CORRESPOND­ENT

DELHI: The State Bank of India (SBI) has petitioned the Supreme Court for an extension until June 30 to disclose informatio­n on each electoral bond encashed by political parties. The move comes after the court’s directive last month to provide these details to the Election Commission by March 6.

In its applicatio­n to the court, SBI argued that retrieving data from different sources and matching it would be time-consuming. The bank highlighte­d the complexity of decoding electoral bonds while maintainin­g donor anonymity, as the issuance and redemption data are stored separately.

According to the plea, donor details were stored in sealed covers at designated branches, with all covers deposited at the bank’s Main Branch in Mumbai. SBI highlighte­d the rigorous measures taken to safeguard donor anonymity.

The Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on February 15 invalidate­d the electoral bonds scheme, citing violations of Constituti­onal rights to freedom of speech and expression, as well as the right to informatio­n. The court’s decision, coming months ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, required SBI to disclose contributo­r names to the six-year-old scheme.

A Constituti­on bench led by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachu­d mandated SBI to reveal details of each electoral bond encashed by political parties, including encashment dates and bond denominati­ons. This informatio­n must be submitted to the Election Commission by March 6.

In its applicatio­n to the court, SBI argued that retrieving data from different sources and matching it would be time-consuming

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