electoral bond

1. SBI submits electoral bond details, including unique IDs, to the Election Commission, complying with the Supreme Court.
2. The Supreme Court’s March 18 order necessitates full disclosure of electoral bond details.
3. SBI’s submission aligns with the court’s directive to ensure transparency in electoral funding.

New Delhi, March 21: The State Bank of India (SBI) has adhered to the Supreme Court’s directive by submitting comprehensive details of electoral bonds, including unique identification numbers, to the Election Commission.

This move comes in compliance with the court’s order issued on March 18, emphasizing the necessity for full disclosure regarding electoral bonds held by the SBI.

With this submission, several critical aspects concerning electoral bonds have been unveiled:

  1. Identification of Purchaser: The disclosure encompasses the name of the bond purchaser, along with the denomination and the specific identification number of each bond.
  2. Party Beneficiaries: Details regarding the political parties that have encashed the bonds are now known, shedding light on their financial transactions.
  3. Bank Account Information: Partial bank account details of political parties, including the last four digits, have been revealed, providing insights into the financial transactions associated with electoral bonds.
  4. Enhanced Transparency: The disclosure fosters transparency by elucidating the denomination and quantity of bonds encashed, facilitating a more comprehensive understanding of political funding mechanisms.
  5. Confidentiality Measures: SBI has opted not to disclose complete bank account numbers and full KYC details of political parties and purchasers. This decision aims to safeguard the security of accounts and prevent potential cyber threats.

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Despite these disclosures, SBI has withheld complete KYC details and account numbers, citing security concerns.

However, the bank asserts that such information is unnecessary for identifying political parties.

During the proceedings, SBI clarified to the Supreme Court that all undisclosed details about electoral bonds, except KYC details and complete account numbers, have been provided.

The unique alphanumeric numbers assigned to each bond serve as identifiers, linking them to the respective political parties.

The Supreme Court noted a discrepancy, highlighting that SBI’s withholding of bond numbers did not fully align with the court’s previous order issued on March 11.

In that directive, SBI was instructed to disclose all electoral bond details.

Prior disclosures unveiled significant purchasers of electoral bonds, including Future Gaming and Hotel Services, owned by lottery magnate Santiago Martin.

Additionally, several political parties, including AAP, DMK, AIADMK, and others, have disclosed donor names and contribution amounts, demonstrating varying levels of transparency in their financial disclosures.

For instance, the Samajwadi Party revealed total donations of ₹10.84 crore, with specific bonds worth ₹10 crore received anonymously by post. Other donors listed by the party include various traders and beverage companies.

As the SBI fulfills its obligation to disclose electoral bond details, these revelations mark a significant step towards enhancing transparency and accountability in political financing processes.