ANI Photo | “Last attempt to hide real face…”: Rahul Gandhi after SBI seeks time to disclose electoral bond details

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday came down heavily on Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the State Bank of India (SBI) moved the Supreme Court seeking an extension of time till June 30 to submit details of Electoral Bonds to the Election Commission of India and said that this is the last attempt to hide PM Modi’s ‘real face’ before the elections.
The Wayanad MP accused PM Modi of trying his best to hide the ‘donation business’.
Taking to the microblogging site x, Rahul Gandhi posted, “Narendra Modi has tried his best to hide the ‘donation business’. When the Supreme Court has said that it is the right of the countrymen to know the truth about electoral bonds, then why does SBI want this information not to be made public before the elections?”
“Asking for time till June 30 for information that can be retrieved with one click shows that there is definitely something fishy,” he added.
Alleging that the independent organization of the country is trying to cover up their corruption by becoming the ‘Modani family’, Rahul Gandhi said, “Every independent organization of the country is trying to cover up their corruption by becoming ‘Modani family’. This is the ‘last attempt’ to hide Modi’s ‘real face’ before the elections.”
SBI has moved the Supreme Court seeking an extension of time till June 30 to submit details of Electoral Bonds to the Election Commission of India.
SBI in its application said that it needs extra time to disclose details of electoral bonds encashed by political parties.
There are certain practical difficulties with the decoding exercise and the timeline fixed for it, said the bank.
On March 15, the Constitution bench of the Supreme Court asked the SBI to furnish details of the political parties that received Electoral Bonds since April 12, 2019, and all the particulars received and submit them to the Election Commission of India by March 6.
In the application seeking an extension of time, the SBI said due to the stringent measures undertaken to ensure that the identity of the donors was kept anonymous, “decoding” of the Electoral Bonds and the matching of the donor to the donations made would be a complex process.
The retrieval of information from “each silo” and the procedure of matching the information of one silo to that of the other would be a time-consuming exercise, it stated.
“It is submitted that details of purchases made at the Branches are not maintained centrally at any one place, such as the name of purchaser/donor which could be tallied with Date of Issue, Place of Issue (Branch), Denomination of Bond, Bond Number. The data related to the issuance of the bond and the data related to the redemption of the bond were kept recorded in two different silos. No central database was maintained. This was done so as to ensure that donors’ anonymity would be protected,” it added.
The bank told the apex court that donors’ details were kept sealed at some branches. They were later deposited in the main branch of the applicant bank, located in Mumbai, it added.
The timeline of three weeks fixed by the court in its judgement dated February 15 would not be sufficient for the entire exercise to be completed, said the bank, adding that, therefore, an extension of time is granted by the court in order to enable the SBI to comply with the judgement.
The Supreme Court had struck down the Electoral Bonds Scheme which allowed for anonymous funding to political parties, and ordered the SBI to stop issuing Electoral Bonds immediately.
It had asked SBI to furnish details and the details about each electoral bond encashed by the political parties, which shall include the date of encashment and the denomination of the electoral bond. The apex court had said that by March 13, the ECI shall publish the details of Electoral Bonds on its official website.
An Electoral Bond is an instrument in the nature of a promissory note or bearer bond which can be purchased by any individual, company, firm or association of persons provided the person or body is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India. The bonds are issued specifically for the purpose of contributing of funds to political parties.
Various petitions were filed before the top court challenging amendments made to different statutes through the Finance Act 2017 and Finance Act 2016 on the ground that they have opened doors to unlimited, unchecked funding of political parties

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