SBI can’t be selective, has to disclose electoral bond numbers: SC

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The State Bank of India headquarters at Nariman Point in Mumbai.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court stated on Monday that the State Bank of India (SBI) must reveal all possible details about electoral bonds it holds, including unique bond numbers that could show the connection between the buyer and the political party receiving the bonds, PTI reported.

A bench of five judges, led by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud, emphasized that the apex court had previously instructed the bank to disclose all bond details and should not delay in doing so.

“We instructed SBI to disclose all details, including electoral bond numbers. SBI should not be selective in disclosure,” the bench said. The bench include Justices Sanjiv Khanna, B R Gavai, J B Pardiwala, and Manoj Misra, stated during the hearing.

Last week, the Supreme Court had sent a notice to SBI, seeking an explanation for not revealing the unique alpha-numeric numbers in line with its directives, emphasising that the bank was obligated to disclose them.

On April 12, 2019, the apex court had issued an interim order instructing political parties to submit information about donations received and expected to be received to the Election Commission (EC) in sealed covers.

In a landmark ruling on February 15, the Supreme Court invalidated the Centre’s electoral bonds scheme, which permitted anonymous political funding, deeming it “unconstitutional.” The court ordered the EC to disclose donors, the amounts donated, and the recipients by March 13.

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