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In light of the modifications to electoral finance laws made in the 2017 Budget, the issue of transparency and accountability in electoral financing has once again come into the limelight. This has been followed by a Finance Ministry notification which allows several legal entities to make anonymous donations to political parties through electoral bonds.

The team at Vidhi has worked on a report which builds on existing discussions to clarify how reforms in election law can be evaluated. It examines the evolution of key legal provisions before identifying barriers and systemic issues in the field on the basis of India’s unique experiences. It further enumerates potential solutions involving disclosures, bans, ceilings, or public funding schemes on the basis of international practice and draws up proposals to overcome existing regulatory barriers.

Vidhi, in collaboration with the India International Centre, organised a public dialogue on Electoral Finance Reforms in India. Dr S.Y. Quraishi, Prof Rajeev Gowda and Dr. Aditya Sondhi were the panelists.

Dr. S.Y. Quraishi is a former Chief Election Commissioner of India. He has authored a book titled ‘An Undocumented Wonder – the Making of the Great Indian Election’, which describes the enormity and complexity of the Indian election. He is currently an Honorary Professor at the Cluster Innovation Centre, University of Delhi and is a member of the International Elections Advisory Council.

Prof Rajeev Gowda is a Member of Parliament and an academic. He has served as a Chairperson of the Centre for Public Policy at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and the Director of the Central Board, Reserve Bank of India. He has also written widely in the popular media on the issue of electoral reforms.

Dr. Aditya Sondhi is the Additional Advocate General of the State of Karnataka and a senior counsel at the Karnataka High Court. He is also Visiting Faculty at the National Law School in Bengaluru where he has taught Constitutional Law, Company Law, Professional Ethics and Arbitration.

The event was scheduled for the evening of 29 January 2018 (Monday) at Conference Room I, India International Centre.

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