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Electoral Bonds: SBI Tells SC it Has Submitted Complete Details, Including Unique Numbers, to ECI

In a compliance report submitted to the apex court, bank chairman Dinesh K Khara said no disclosure details, other than KYC and account numbers, had been withheld.
The new law, which excludes the Chief Justice of India from the selection committee for the CEC and ECs, has  been challenged by ADR and Congress leader Jaya Thakur.

New Delhi: The Chairman of State Bank of India (SBI), Dinesh K Khara, on Thursday told the Supreme Court that it had submitted all details of electoral bonds with unique numbers (alphanumerical) to the Election Commission of India (ECI).

In a compliance report to the apex court, the bank said no disclosure details, other than KYC and account numbers, had been withheld.

The bank was compelled to give out the unique number details after the top court pulled it up and had asked it to “stop being selective” and make a “complete disclosure” and had set a deadline of March 21.

The unique bond numbers will reveal the purchaser of the bonds, the denomination, and names of the political parties that redeemed these.

The Supreme Court, however, noted that by withholding this number, the public sector bank did not fully comply with its March 11 order in which SBI was asked to disclose “all details” of electoral bonds.

Last week the ECI had uploaded the data provided by SBI on its website, where in Future Gaming and Megha Engineering had emerged as the top donors. The biggest recipient (50%) of the secret donations was the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party followed by a distant Congress and Trinamool Congress.

Data from 2017-18 and 2018-19 reveals that the BJP collected a whopping Rs 1,450.9 crore and Rs 210 crore, respectively, during these years. Additionally, from April 12, 2019, to January 24, 2024, they received Rs 6,060.5 crore through electoral bonds, bringing their total to Rs 7,721.4 crore, almost half of the nationwide total, reveals a TOI report. In contrast, the Indian National Congress got much less, with Rs 383.3 crore and Rs 5 crore reported for 2017-18 and 2018-19, respectively. Overall, Congress got Rs 1,810 crore through electoral bond funding until early 2024. Similarly, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) received Rs 97.3 crore during the same two-year period, totalling Rs 1,706.8 crore with updated data,” said an analysis by the Association of Democratic reforms, which was one of the petitioners who had challenged the electoral bonds. On March 14, in a landmark verdict, though delayed, the SC had termed the bonds as unconstitutional.

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