SC protects democracy from 'devious machinations' of current regime: Cong on electoral bonds issue

The Congress Monday hailed the Supreme Court for dismissing the SBI's plea seeking an extension of time to furnish details of electoral bonds, saying the apex court has once again come to protect democracy from the "devious machinations" of the current regime.
Congress on Supreme Court verdict of electoral bonds
Congress on Supreme Court verdict of electoral bonds

New Delhi | The Congress Monday hailed the Supreme Court for dismissing the SBI's plea seeking an extension of time to furnish details of electoral bonds, saying the apex court has once again come to protect democracy from the "devious machinations" of the current regime.

A five-judge Constitution bench of the top court on Monday dismissed the State Bank of India's plea for time extension and directed it to furnish the details of electoral bonds to the Election Commission by close of business hours on March 12.

In a post on 'X', Congress general secretary, organisation, K C Venugopal, said, "The Supreme Court has once again come to protect Indian democracy from the devious machinations of this regime." "It was laughable for the SBI to seek an extension on a simple 1 day job. The fact is that the government is scared of all their skeletons tumbling out of the closet," he said.

"This mega corruption scandal, as certified by the Supreme Court, will expose the unholy nexus between the BJP and its corrupt corporate masters," Venugopal said.

During the hearing, the bench, also comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna, B R Gavai, J B Pardiwala, and Manoj Misra, took note of the submissions of senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the SBI, that more time was needed for collating the details and matching them as the information was kept in two different silos with its branches.

He further said that if the matching exercise was to be done away with, the SBI could complete the exercise within three weeks.

The bench said it had not directed the bank to match the details of donors and donee with other information.

The SBI has to just open the sealed cover, collate the details and give the information to the Election Commission, the apex court said.

It also asked the bank about the steps taken by it to comply with the directions given by the apex court in its February 15 judgment.

"In the last 26 days, what steps have you taken? Your application is silent on that," the bench said.

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

The SBI had sought an extension till June 30 to disclose the details of each electoral bond encashed by political parties before the scheme was scrapped.

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