Electoral Bond Case

Supreme Court: In an application filed by the Election Commission of India (‘ECI’) seeking return of sealed cover documents furnished by ECI to the Court in adherence to its interim order, the 5-Judge Constitution Bench of Dr. DY Chandrachud, CJI., Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai, JB Pardiwala, Manoj Misra,JJ. has stated that the State Bank of India (‘SBI’) has to disclose unique alphanumeric numbers printed on each electoral bond, which helps match donors with political parties, in addition to the details it has already provided regarding the purchase and redemption of the bonds.

This application was filed in view of Supreme Court’s directions to SBI and the ECI while dismissing an application by the bank for an extension of time to furnish electoral bonds details.

ECI contended that it did not retain any copies of these documents to uphold confidentiality. Therefore, it sought the return of the sealed envelopes to proceed with the required actions.

The bench disposed of ECI’s application with no objection from any of the parties. Further, it instructed the registrar general to ensure that the data filed by the commission is scanned and digitised by 5 PM tomorrow. Thereafter, the original copy was directed to be returned to ECI, and this data is to be uploaded on the Election Commission’s website on or before 5 pm on 17-03- 2024

The Bench directed to issue a notice to SBI, returnable on 18-03-2024 It further directed the presence of a Senior Officer of SBI who is responsible for the management and storage of details of Bonds purchased and redeemed on the next date of hearing.

Also read:

Supreme Court dismisses SBI plea for extension of time to furnish information relating to Electoral Bonds; Directs disclosures by March 12

Supreme Court strikes down Electoral Bonds Scheme for being violative of right to information under Art. 19(1)(a) of Constitution

‘Electoral Bonds Scheme not behind iron curtains incapable of being pierced’; Read why Supreme Court refused to interfere with the Scheme

SC asks all parties to submit details of political funding received through electoral bonds

Analysis and Anatomy of Electoral Bond Judgment

[Association of Democratic Reforms v. Union of India, 2024 SCC OnLine SC 312, Order dated 15-03-2024]

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