SBI Submits Electoral Bond Data to ECI Following Supreme Court Directive

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The State Bank of India (SBI) has met the Supreme Court’s deadline, submitting electoral bond data to the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Tuesday evening. The Supreme Court had previously warned the bank of contempt proceedings for its “willful disobedience” of previous deadlines.

Supreme Court’s Strict Directive

This development follows a stern order from the Supreme Court, which rejected SBI’s plea for an extension on releasing the electoral bond data. The court criticized the bank for unnecessary delays, terming it a potential violation of court orders.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) confirmed the receipt of the data and pledged to collate and release it by 5 pm on Friday, adhering to the court’s mandated timeline. However, the SBI Chairman and Managing Director is yet to submit an affidavit confirming compliance, though preparations for its submission are reportedly underway.

Last month, the Supreme Court declared the electoral bond scheme unconstitutional, asserting that it violated citizens’ right to information. In light of this judgment, the court directed SBI to reveal the data by March 6, with the ECI scheduled to make the information public by March 13.

The court emphasized that the bank simply needed to conduct a “plain disclosure” of the data, dismissing the need for a complex “matching exercise.” Donor details were highlighted as already accessible at the SBI’s Mumbai branch.

The electoral bond controversy and subsequent legal proceedings reflect a significant moment in India’s electoral landscape, prompting increased scrutiny and transparency measures.

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