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SC Orders SBI To Share Data Linking Parties, Donors   

| Updated: March 15, 2024 13:25

The apex court issued a notice to the bank for providing incomplete details

A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Friday ordered the State Bank of India (SBI) to provide electoral bond data linking parties and donors. 

The apex court also issued a notice to the bank for providing incomplete details. It criticised SBI for not disclosing electoral bond numbers which link donor and recipient. The matter has been posted for hearing on March 18.   

The top court said the bank had not complied fully with its previous judgment. It categorically stated that electoral bond numbers “has to be disclosed” by SBI. The bench asked the bank to explain the lapse. The SBI’s counsel was not present in court on Friday.

“We had said all details had to be handed over to the Election Commission (EC). They [SBI] have not disclosed the bond numbers. It has to be disclosed by the State Bank of India,” said Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud.

“Judgment of the Constitution Bench required the SBI to furnish to the EC all details of the electoral bonds…It is submitted that SBI has not disclosed the unique alpha numeric number of the electoral bonds,” the Chief Justice said.

The CJI’s observation came when the apex court was hearing EC’s application seeking modification of its March 11 order. The EC had asked the Supreme Court to return the electoral bonds data it had previously submitted in sealed covers, claiming that it cannot publish the information on its website until the sealed envelopes are returned as it had not kept copies. 

The top court on Friday directed the judicial registrar to ensure that documents filed by the EC before it in sealed covers were scanned and digitised before being returned. It said this should preferably be done by 5 pm on March 16.

Meanwhile, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta requested time for the SBI to respond.

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