Provided all details of electoral bonds to Election Commission: SBI tells SC

SBI provides complete details of electoral bonds to Election Commission
Supreme Court to State Bank of India
Supreme Court to State Bank of India

New Delhi | The State Bank of India told the Supreme Court on Thursday it has provided all details of the electoral bonds in its possession to the Election Commission.

In a compliance affidavit filed in the apex court, the SBI chairman said the complete bank account numbers and KYC details of the political parties have not being made public "as it may compromise the security of the account (cyber security)".

"Similarly, KYC details of purchasers are also not being made public for security reasons, apart from the fact that such information is not fed/collated in the system. However, they are not necessary for identifying the political parties," the affidavit filed by bank chairperson Dinesh Kumar Khara said.

The affidavit said the SBI has revealed information which will show the name of the purchaser of the bond, its denomination and specific number, the name of the party that encashed it, the last four digits of the bank account number of political parties that redeemed the bond and the denomination and unique number of the bond encashed.

"On March 21, 2024, the State Bank of India has provided/ disclosed all details of the electoral bonds which are in its possession and custody to the Election Commission of India," it said.

"It is respectfully submitted that SBI has now disclosed all details and that no details (other than complete account numbers & KYC details) have been withheld from disclosure in terms of the directions contained in… the judgment dated February 15, 2024 read with order dated March 18, 2024 passed by this court," the affidavit said.

On March 18, the apex court had told the SBI to stop being "selective" and make "complete disclosure" of all details related to the electoral bonds scheme by March 21.

The top court had said the details to be disclosed must include the unique bond numbers that would match the buyers with the recipient political parties.

In a landmark verdict delivered on February 15, a five-judge constitution bench had scrapped the Centre's controversial electoral bonds scheme that allowed anonymous political funding, calling it "unconstitutional", and ordered disclosure by the EC of the donors, amount donated by them and the recipients by March 13.

Ordering the closure of the scheme, the top court directed the SBI, the authorised financial institution under the scheme, to submit by March 6 the details of the electoral bonds purchased since April 12, 2019 till date to the Election Commission.

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