Thursday, April 25, 2024

Electoral Bonds case: SC to hear SBI’s application seeking extension of time, contempt plea


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Shillong, March 8: The Supreme Court is slated to hear, on Monday, the application filed by the State Bank of India (SBI) seeking an extension of time, until June 30, for making details of encashed Electoral Bonds public.

As per the details published on the apex court website, a Constitution Bench, headed by CJI D.Y. Chandrachud, will take up the matter for hearing on March 11.

The 5-judge Bench, also comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna, B.R. Gavai, J.B. Padriwala and Manoj Misra, will also consider the contempt plea moved by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) against the SBI for wilful disobedience of the top court’s order mandating the leading public sector bank to disclose the details of encashed Electoral Bonds to the Election Commission by March 6.

In an application filed two days before the expiry of the deadline set out by the apex court, the SBI said that “decoding” of the Electoral Bonds and the matching of the donor to the donations is a complex and time-consuming exercise and the timeline of three weeks would not be sufficient for the entire exercise to be completed.

On Thursday, advocate Prashant Bhushan urged CJI Chandrachud to list the contempt plea along with the SBI application seeking an extension.

At this, CJI Chandrachud said: “The moment formalities are done, ask your junior to send an email to the registry. I will pass orders on the email.”

In a verdict delivered on February 15, the Constitution Bench struck down the Electoral Bonds Scheme, 2018 as unconstitutional and ordered the SBI to forthwith stop their issuance. It had asked the SBI to submit details of the Electoral Bonds purchased since April 2019 to the Election Commission of India by March 6 for publication on the official website of the poll body.

“SBI must disclose details of each Electoral Bond encashed by political parties which shall include the date of encashment and the denomination of the Electoral Bond. SBI shall submit the above information to the ECI within three weeks from the date of this judgment, that is, by March 6, 2024,” it had said. (IANS)


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