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People need to know who purchased electoral bonds: Congress' Karti Chidambaram after SC junks SBI application

Chennai: After the Supreme Court dismissed an application of the State Bank of India (SBI) seeking an extension of time till June 30 to submit details of Electoral Bonds to the Election Commission of India, Congress leader Karti Chidambaram said that the people of India have the right to know who purchased the electoral bonds.
Highlighting why the disclosure by the SBI is important for people, the Congress leader said, "The people of India need to know who purchased the electoral bonds, who are the beneficiaries and whether any quid pro quo was given by the government to those who contributed to them."
Karti said that that the State Bank of India should not have filed an application in the Supreme Court seeking an extension of the deadline to submit electoral bond data.
"SBI should have never filed the application asking for an extension of time. It was really in bad form. I am glad that the Supreme Court threw out their application and has asked them to make full disclosure by tomorrow. They should not delay it. They need to make truthful disclosure by tomorrow," Chidambaram said speaking to ANI on Monday.
Meanwhile, Navy veteran-turned-RTI activist Lokesh Batra said in a lighter note that the Supreme Court has given more time to SBI.
"I think they have given more time. But this is an excellent order. If they don't comply we will see," Batra said.
In response to the time sought by the SBI from the top court, Batra said, "It is laughable."
Disclosing details of a secret number on the electoral bonds, the RTI activist said, "There is a secret number on the bond. When the political party receives it, before that, the bank matches both. This was said by the Finance Ministry when it was dug out by a journalist that there is a secret number."
The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Supreme Court of India to disclose the details by March 12. A five-judge Constitution bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices Sanjiv Khanna, BR Gavai, JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra ordered that the details be disclosed by the bank on March 12.
The apex court also directed the Election Commission of India to compile the information to be furnished by the SBI and publish the details on its official website no later than March 15, 2024 by 5 pm.
In its February 15 judgement, the apex court had set the deadline for SBI as March 6. The apex court had said that by March 13, the ECI should publish the details of Electoral Bonds on its official website.
The SBI last week moved the top court seeking an extension till June 30 to comply with the court's directions.

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