Total of 22, 217 Electoral Bonds Purchased, 22,030 of them Redeemed by Political Parties: SBI Informs SC


The Supreme Court was informed by the State Bank of India (SBI) on Wednesday that political parties had purchased a total of 22,217 electoral bonds between April 1, 2019, and February 15 this year, of which 22,030 were redeemed.

In a compliance affidavit submitted in the apex court, the SBI stated that, as per the court’s directive, it had provided the details of electoral bonds to the Election Commission of India (ECI) before the close of business hours on March 12, 2024. It noted that particulars, including the purchase date of each electoral bond, the purchaser’s names, and the denomination of the bonds purchased, had been provided.

The affidavit, filed by SBI Chairman Dinesh Kumar Khara, mentioned that the bank had also provided details to the EC, such as the encashment date of the electoral bonds, the political parties receiving the contributions, and the bond denominations.

On March 11, a constitution bench led by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud had rejected SBI’s plea for an extension of time and directed it to disclose the electoral bond details to the EC by the close of business hours on March 12, 2024.

The top court further directed the Election Commission to publish the details shared by the bank on its official website by 5 pm on March 15.

In a significant verdict announced on February 15, a five-judge Constitution bench invalidated the Centre’s electoral bonds scheme, which allowed anonymous political funding, deeming it “unconstitutional.” It mandated the disclosure by the EC of donors, the amount donated, and the recipients by March 13.

By ordering the closure of the scheme, the top court directed the SBI, as the authorized financial institution under the scheme, to submit, by March 6, the details of electoral bonds purchased since April 12, 2019, till the current date to the EC.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte