Supreme Court expressed dissatisfaction, Orders SBI to Disclose Electoral Bond Numbers

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New Delhi: In a recent development, the Supreme Court of India has expressed its dissatisfaction with the State Bank of India (SBI) for not providing the unique alpha-numeric numbers associated with electoral bonds. The apex court has issued a notice to SBI, seeking an explanation for the omission.

The constitutional bench, presided over by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, addressed the Election Commission’s request to amend a segment of the court’s March 11 directive concerning electoral bonds. The bench, which also includes Justices Sanjeev Khanna, BR Gavai, JB Pardiwala, and Manoj Mishra, has mandated that the data submitted by the Election Commission be digitized and made accessible online.

During the proceedings, the bench acknowledged the concerns raised by advocates Prashant Bhushan and Kapil Sibal, representing the petitioner, regarding the lack of disclosure of the electoral bonds’ unique identifiers by SBI. The court has scheduled a follow-up hearing for March 18 to further address this issue.

The Election Commission has clarified in its petition that, contrary to the court’s March 11 order, it does not possess copies of the documents previously submitted to the court. The Commission has requested the return of these documents to comply with the court’s instructions.

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This move by the Supreme Court underscores the importance of transparency in the electoral bond scheme, which allows anonymous donations to political parties. The court’s insistence on the disclosure of bond numbers is a step towards ensuring accountability in political financing.