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SC issues notice to SBI for non-disclosure of alphanumeric code of Electoral Bonds

New Delhi, March 15 : The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the State Bank of India (SBI) for non-disclosure of alphanumeric code of Electoral Bonds.

“They have not disclosed the bond number because that has to be disclosed by the State Bank of India (SBI). If you see our judgement, all details have to be furnished by the SBI,” said a Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud.

Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, urged the 5-judge Bench to issue notice to SBI before passing any directions.

“They (SBI) filed an application (seeking extension of time) which was disposed of. They are not parties to the proceedings,” submitted Solicitor General Mehta, clarifying that he is not representing the SBI.

At this, the Constitution Bench, also comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna, B.R. Gavai, J.B. Padriwala and Manoj Misra, said: “We can take exception to what they have disclosed because they were duty bound.”

“We direct the registry to issue notice to SBI returnable on Monday,” it said, adding that a copy of its order may be forwarded to the standing counsel of SBI.

During the hearing, senior advocate Kapil Sibal said the February 15 judgement was an “inclusive order” directing SBI to share details of Electoral Bonds encashed by political parties, “including” the date of encashment and the denomination of the Electoral Bond.

The Constitution Bench was considering the application filed by the Election Commission seeking the release of sealed cover data on Electoral Bonds, which the poll panel had supplied to the top court during the pendency of the proceedings.

In its application, the ECI said that it forwarded the documents in sealed covers/boxes without retaining any copies of the information so submitted.

Directing release of the sealed cover envelopes, the top court directed that ECI will upload digitized copy on its official website by Sunday, March 17.