Supreme Court To Hear SBI’s Request In Electoral Bonds Case Today

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Supreme Court To Hear SBI's Request In Electoral Bonds Case Today

New Delhi:
An application from the State Bank of India, seeking more time to file information on electoral bonds, will be heard by the Supreme Court today. The court had given time till March 6 to file the details. The bank wants time till June 30.

Here are the Top 10 points in this big story:

  1. A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai, JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, will hear the matter at 10.30 am.

  2. The bench had asked the national bank to file details about each electoral bond encashed by political parties before the scheme was scrapped last month.

  3. The court will also hear a separate plea by non-profits Association for Democratic Reforms and Common Cause, which has sought contempt proceedings against the SBI. The petitioners alleged that the bank had deliberately disobeyed court order to file the details by March 6.

  4. On February 15, the bench had scrapped the Centre’s electoral bonds scheme that allowed anonymous political funding. The judges had called it “unconstitutional”.

  5. Electoral bonds violate people’s right to information and Article 14 of the Constitution guaranteeing equality. They also infringe on the principle of free and fair elections as stipulated in the constitution, the court had said.

  6. The court had asked the Election Commission to furnish details of donors, the amount they donated, and the recipients. The information, it said, should be published on the Commission’s website by March 13.

  7. The court had also asked the SBI to submit details of the bonds purchased since April 12, 2019 to the Commission by March 6.

  8. On March 4, the SBI asked the top court to extend the time till June 30. The bank said retrieving the information will be a time-consuming job. The need to maintain anonymity has made it complicated.

  9. The Congress has alleged that the BJP is using the bank as a shield. The party also alleged that the request for extension is a ruse to keep data under wraps till the Lok Sabha election.

  10. Pointing out that as a fully computerised bank, the SBI can have all the details with a few clicks, the Congress said, “SBI operates 48 crore bank accounts, 66,000 ATMs and has nearly 23,000 branches… and this SBI needs five months to give data on just 22,217 electoral bonds”.

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