Supreme Court Orders SBI to Reveal All Electoral Bond Data Incuding Alphanumeric Codes

Supreme Court Orders SBI to Reveal All Electoral Bond Data

Supreme Court Orders SBI to Reveal All Electoral Bond Data Incuding Alphanumeric Codes

The Supreme Court directed the State Bank of India to provide comprehensive disclosure of all electoral bond details, including the unique bond numbers revealing connections between buyers and recipient political parties, by March 21st.

As reported by PTI, a five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud stated that the apex court, in its verdict on the electoral bonds case, instructed the bank to disclose all bond details and emphasized that it should not await further orders on this matter.

"We had instructed all details to be disclosed by SBI, which includes electoral bond numbers as well. Let SBI not be selective in disclosure," the bench, also comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna, B R Gavai, J B Pardiwala, and Manoj Misra, stated orally during the hearing.

The Election Commission of India, on March 17th, uploaded digitized data received from the Supreme Court registry on electoral bonds to its website.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Centre received the maximum funds through these bonds at ₹6,986.5 crore since their introduction in 2018, followed by West Bengal's ruling party, Trinamool Congress (₹1,397 crore), Congress (₹1,334 crore), and Bharat Rashtra Samithi (₹1,322 crore), according to the latest data shared by the EC.

Earlier, on March 15th, the EC released the first detailed data on electoral bonds after sourcing it from the State Bank of India. The apex bank was directed by the SC to submit data to the EC.

 Key Points:

    • Disclosure Deadline: The apex court's directive mandates SBI to reveal all electoral bond details by March 21, emphasizing transparency in the electoral funding process.
    • Non-Selective Disclosure: The court emphasized that SBI should not be selective in disclosing information, urging for full transparency in the electoral bond scheme.
    • Previous Verdict: The decision aligns with the court's earlier ruling, which urged SBI to disclose all bond details, including unique numbers, without waiting for further orders.
    • Electoral Bond Data: The Election Commission released the second set of electoral bond data, revealing significant contributions to various political parties.
    • Top Beneficiaries: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged as the largest beneficiary, receiving ₹6,986.5 crore, followed by other parties like Trinamool Congress, Congress, and Bharat Rashtra Samithi.
    • Controversy and Response: The release of electoral bond data sparked controversy, with various leaders and parties expressing opinions and concerns regarding political funding transparency.
    • Legal Challenges: The court addressed pleas related to the disclosure of bond information, rejecting some while affirming the necessity for comprehensive disclosure.
    • Political Reactions: Political leaders and parties, including the ruling BJP and opposition groups, responded to the electoral bond data release, raising questions and demands for accountability.
    • Future Implications: The court's decision sets a precedent for enhanced transparency in electoral funding, potentially impacting future electoral processes and political financing regulations.

The Supreme Court's directive underscores the importance of transparency and accountability in political funding, signaling a significant step towards promoting integrity in the electoral process.