SBI Complies with Supreme Court Directive, Submits Electoral Bonds Data to Election Commission

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale  - Senior Editor
2 Min Read

New Delhi: On Tuesday evening, the State Bank of India (SBI) submitted electoral bonds data to the Election Commission of India, as per a stern order from the Supreme Court. The poll panel has acknowledged the receipt of the data and is set to collate and release it by 5 pm on Friday, in adherence to the court’s instructions.

Although the Chairman and Managing Director of the bank have yet to file the affidavit confirming compliance with the court order, it is reported that the affidavit is prepared and will be submitted on Wednesday.

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In a significant decision on Monday, the Supreme Court rejected a plea by the State Bank of India, the nation’s largest bank, to extend the March 6 deadline for releasing the data. Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, leading the bench, criticized the bank for “willful disobedience” of orders and cautioned it about possible contempt proceedings.

“While we are not inclined to exercise contempt jurisdiction at this time, we place SBI on notice that this court may be inclined to proceed against it for willful disobedience if it does not comply with directions by timelines indicated in this order,” the court stated.

The bank had argued that it needed more time to collect, cross-check, and release the data, which was stored in two confidential “silos.” It emphasized the need for confidentiality and requested an extension until June 30. However, the Supreme Court pointed out that donor details were readily available at SBI’s Mumbai branch, and a simple disclosure was requested, not a matching exercise.

The Supreme Court, in a landmark verdict last month, declared the electoral bond scheme “unconstitutional,” citing a violation of citizens’ right to information. The court had directed SBI to disclose the data by March 6, with the poll panel scheduled to make this information public by March 13.

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