Supreme Court chastises SBI over electoral bonds, telling them not to be “selective,” and establishes a new deadline.

SBI receives criticism from the Supreme Court over electoral bonds; they are instructed not to be “selective,” and a new deadline is set.

The Supreme Court of India ruled on Monday that the State Bank of India (SBI) could not withhold information related to electoral bonds, and the bank was ordered to provide the Election Commission with all bond numbers by March 21. The bank chairman was also mandated by the supreme court to submit a compliance affidavit no later than March 21.

The bank was ordered by the Supreme Court to reveal all “conceivable” electoral bond information that was in its possession, including bond numbers that would reveal the buyer’s connection to the recipient political party.

In a sharply worded censure, a five-judge bench led by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud said that it had ordered the bank to reveal all bond data and that it should not wait for more directives.

“We had requested that the SBI reveal all information, including electoral bond numbers. The panel, which also included Justices Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai, JB Pardiwala, and Manoj Misra, declared, “Let SBI not be selective in disclosure.”

Senior attorney Harish Salve stated that “we are playing with court” when speaking on behalf of the SBI. “We will give” the electoral bonds, he declared, if that is what the court requests.

The bank said it will give every bit of information required by the court.

The Supreme Court, meanwhile, said the bank should file an affidavit stating that it has not suppressed any information.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said the main aim of formulating the electoral bonds scheme was to curb black money in politics. He said that the apex court must be aware of how this judgment is being played outside the court.

He claimed witch-hunting has started over the details. He claimed some social media posts, which “intended to cause embarrassment”, have started to surface. He urged the court to issue some direction in this regard.

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