Poll panel discloses electoral bonds data; Bharti Airtel, Apollo, Sun Pharma among donors

SC had directed Election Commission to publish data by Mar 15

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The Election Commission of India on Thursday made public the data on electoral bonds submitted to it by the State Bank of India, a move that is seen as a big step towards bringing transparency in political funding.

The SBI had submitted the details to the poll panel on Tuesday, a day after the Supreme Court gave a stern order and set a one-day deadline. The court had also directed the EC to publish the data on its website by March 15.

“The Election Commission of India has today uploaded the data on electoral bonds on its website as received from SBI on 'as is where is basis'," the poll panel said in a statement.

The ECI has consistently and categorically weighed in favour of disclosure and transparency, a position reflected in the proceedings of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and noted in the order also, it said.

According to the data uploaded by the poll panel, the buyers of electoral bonds include Grasim Industries, Megha Engineering, Piramal Enterprises, Torrent Power, Bharti Airtel, DLF Commercial Developers, Vedanta Ltd., Apollo Tyres, Lakshmi Mittal, Edelweiss, PVR, Keventer, Sula Wine, Welspun, and Sun Pharma. 

The parties that redeemed electoral bonds include the BJP, Congress, AIADMK, BRS, Shiv Sena, TDP, YSR Congress, DMK, JDS, NCP, Trinamool Congress, JDU, RJD, AAP, and the Samajwadi Party.

In a landmark verdict delivered on February 15, a five-judge Constitution bench had scrapped the Centre's electoral bonds scheme that allowed anonymous political funding, calling it "unconstitutional" and ordered disclosure by the EC of donors, the amount donated by them and the recipients.

The court directed the SBI, the authorised financial institution under the scheme, to submit by March 6 the details of the electoral bonds purchased since April 12, 2019 till date to the EC. 

On Monday, the apex court trashed a petition filed by the state bank seeking extension of time till June 30 to disclose the details of electoral bonds and ordered that the data be submitted to the election commission by 5 pm on Tuesday.

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