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Electoral Bonds Case: Supreme Court Rejects SBI’s Plea

electoral bonds

The Supreme Court of India convened today to address critical matters related to electoral bonds. The State Bank of India (SBI) had filed an application seeking an extension of time until June 30 to disclose crucial information regarding these bonds. Here are the key highlights from today’s proceedings:

  1. Background:

    • The electoral bonds scheme, introduced by the Modi government, allowed for anonymous political funding.
    • However, in a landmark judgment delivered last month, the Supreme Court declared the electoral bond process unconstitutional1.
    • The court’s decision has significant implications for transparency and accountability in political financing.
  2. SBI’s Plea for Time Extension:

    • The SBI requested additional time to compile and decode information related to the sale of 22,217 electoral bonds.
    • These details include information about bond purchasers, denominations, encashment, and dates of encashment.
    • The original deadline for disclosure was March 6, as per the court’s earlier judgment.
  3. Contempt Petitions Against SBI Chairman:

    • NGOs, including the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Common Cause, along with the political party Communist Party of India (Marxist), filed contempt petitions against SBI Chairman Dinesh Kumar Khara.
    • These petitions allege that the bank failed to meet the disclosure deadline set by the court.
  4. Court Proceedings:

    • 5-judge bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justices Sanjiv KhannaBR GavaiJB Pardiwala, and Manoj Misra heard the matter at 10:30 AM today.
    • The court expressed its displeasure over the delay and emphasized the importance of timely disclosure.
    • The SBI was directed to share the necessary information with the Election Commission of India (ECI).
  5. Upcoming Deadline:

    • The SBI must now furnish the electoral bond details by tomorrowMarch 12, 2024.
    • The ECI will subsequently publish this information on its website by March 13.

As the nation awaits these disclosures, the court’s decision underscores the critical role of financial transparency in shaping our democracy. Stay tuned for further updates as this significant issue unfolds.

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