Money and Elections: Necessary Reforms in Electoral Finance

Reports by Public Law · March 12, 2018
Author(s): Lalit Panda and Suchindran Bhaskar Narayan

In light of the modifications in electoral finance laws made in the 2016 and 2017 Union Budgets, this study clarifies legal concepts for the evaluation of electoral reform, examines the evolution of key legal provisions related to political funding, and identifies systemic issues in the field on the basis of India’s unique experiences. To arrive at potential solutions to the issues involved, the study also supplements the Indian experience with a comparative study of foreign jurisdictions.


The report thus argues that electoral finance law must pivot towards transparency, strictly requiring disclosures by candidates, registration and reporting by political parties, and the applicability of the Right to Information Act, 2005 to such parties. It also favours an absolute cap on anonymous donations, the banning of corporate donations, clarification of permissible categories of expenditure, regulation of third party expenditures, and gradual progress towards public funding. To supplement these rules, the study also discusses the bolstering of the enforcement powers of the Election Commission of India.

Download the full report- ‘Money and Elections: Necessary Reforms in Electoral Finance’

About Lalit Panda:

Lalit is a Research Fellow with the Public Law vertical. At Vidhi, he has worked on a range of policy issues related to data protection, telecom laws, election law, public interest litigation, judicial independence, fiscal federalism, higher education and constitutional law. To these, he brings an abiding interest in the economic analysis of law and public choice theory. A 2016 graduate of the Gujarat National Law University, he worked as a Consultant with the 21st Law Commission of India before joining Vidhi in 2017. In his spare time, Lalit pursues interests in literary and fantasy fiction, poetry, creative writing, as well as moral and political philosophy. Link to full bio

About Suchindran Bhaskar Narayan: