SBI hands over electoral bonds data to ECI

New Delhi: Complying with the Supreme Court’s order, the State Bank of India on Tuesday submitted the data pertaining to electoral bonds to the Election Commission (EC). The data is voluminous and is learnt to be in raw format. Sources in the EC said the poll body is working on a war footing to meet the March 15 deadline to upload the entire data pertaining to who donated how much to which party through electoral bonds on its website.

“In compliance with the Supreme Court's directions to the SBI, contained in its orders dated February 15 and March 11, data on electoral bonds has been supplied by the SBI to the election commission,” the EC spokesperson said.

Sources in the EC said their team is on the job to meet the Supreme Court deadline and the pre-2019 data is in the process of being uploaded in a phased manner. Possibly this data, along with the new data, will be published simultaneously by the evening of March 15.

The Supreme Court on Monday had ordered the SBI to disclose the details of electoral bonds to the election commission by Tuesday evening. As per the order, the election commission will have to publish the details shared by the bank on its official website by 5 pm on March 15.

However, much drama happened before the SBI handed over the electoral bond data to the EC. On Monday, the SBI urged the Supreme Court to give it time till June 30 to collate the voluminous data. Rejecting the SBI's request, the apex court ordered the bank to submit all details by Tuesday evening or it will take contempt of court action against SBI chairman Dinesh Kumar Khara.

Meanwhile, the president of the Supreme Court bar association (SCBA) shot off a letter to President Droupadi Murmu seeking a presidential reference and adding that the Supreme Court judgment in the electoral bonds case should not be implemented till the reference is heard.

“Now, the president of the SC bar association seeks a rehearing of the electoral bond case through a presidential reference under Article 143. This move, if pursued, will fraudulently convert an advisory jurisdiction into an appellate one. What scares the Modi government, the nation wants to know,” wrote CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury on X.

The SBI has issued electoral bonds worth Rs 16,518 crores in 30 tranches since the inception of the scheme in 2018. The Supreme Court, however, on February15, scrapped this scheme that allowed anonymous political funding, calling it "unconstitutional" and ordered disclosure by the EC of donors, the amount donated by them and recipients.

During the hearing, the attorney-general R. Venkataramani submitted that the citizens do not have the right to information under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution regarding the funding of a political party.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
Next Story