State Bank of India (SBI) in the sixth phase of sale has been authorised to issue and encash Electoral Bonds through its 29 authorised Branches with effect from November 01 to 10.
The Central Government had notified the Electoral Bond Scheme 2018 vide a Gazette Notification in January. As per provisions of the scheme, Electoral Bonds can be purchased by a person who is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India.
A person being an individual can buy Electoral Bonds, either singly or jointly with other individuals. Electoral Bonds are only valid for fifteen days from the date of issue and no payment shall be made to any payee Political Party if the Electoral Bond is deposited after the expiry of the validity period.
As per an official statement, "Only the Political Parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (43 of 1951) and which secured not less than one per cent of the votes polled in the last General Election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of the State, shall be eligible to receive the Electoral Bonds. The Electoral Bonds shall be encashed by an eligible Political Party only through a Bank account with the Authorised Bank."
Electoral Bond is a bearer instrument in the nature of a Promissory Note. The Electoral Bonds have some in-built security features to eliminate chances of forgery or presentation of fake bonds. These include a random serial number invisible to the naked eye. This number is not noted by the State Bank of India (SBI) in any record associated with the buyer or political party depositing a particular electoral bond. It is, thus not linked to any party transaction when the Bank issues a bond to the buyer.
As such the number is not being used or can be used to track the donation or the buyer.