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The State Bank of India has filed an application in the Supreme Court seeking an extension of time till June 30, 2024, to furnish information regarding electoral bonds to the Election Commission of India.

As per the judgment delivered by a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on February 15, the SBI is required to furnish the information to ECI by March 6.

In the extension application, the SBI stated that between the period April 12, 2019 to February 15, 2024, twenty-two thousand two hundred and seventeen (22,217) electoral bonds were issued for making donations to various parties. The redeemed bonds were deposited to the Mumbai Main Branch by the Authorised Branches at the end of each phase in sealed envelopes. The SBI stated that since two different information silos existed, it has to decode, compile and compare forty-four thousand four hundred thirty four (44,434) information sets.

The SBI stated that the timeline of three weeks fixed by the Supreme Court would not be sufficient for the entire process to be completed.

While striking down the Electoral Bonds scheme as unconstitutional, the Supreme Court issued the following directions :

A. The issuing bank(State Bank of India) shall herewith stop the issuance of electoral bonds.

B. The State Bank of India shall submit the details of electoral bonds purchased since the interim order of the Court dated April 12, 2019 till date to the Election Commission of India. The details shall include the date of purchase of each electoral bond, the name of the purchaser of the bond and the denomination of the electoral bond purchased.

C.The State Bank of India shall submit the details of the political parties which have received contributions through electoral bonds since the interim order dated April 12, 2019 till date to the ECI. SBI must disclose details of each electoral bond encashed by the political parties, which shall include the date of encashment and the denomination of the electoral bond.

D. The SBI shall submit the above information to the ECI within three weeks, ie by March 6.

E. The ECI shall publish the information received from the SBI on its website by March 13, 2024.

F. Electoral Bonds which are within the validity period of 15 days but which have not been encashed by the political parties yet shall be returned by the political party to the purchaser. The issuing bank shall then refund the amount to the purchaser's account.

A 5-judge comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justices Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai, JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra delivered the judgment on a batch of writ petitions filed by the Association for Democratic Reforms, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Dr Jaya Thakur.

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