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Revamping Political Funding in India: Prof. Dinesh Kumar's Vision Post-Supreme Court Verdict on Electoral Bonds

The Supreme Court of India struck down the Electoral Bond Scheme in a ground-breaking verdict in February 2024. It made a pivotal moment in the country's ongoing struggle to refine political funding mechanisms. Responding to this judicial intervention, Prof. Dinesh Kumar has put forward a framework aimed at reforming political donations in his recent paper titled: "The Supreme Court's Verdict on Electoral Bonds: Proposing a New Framework for Political Funding in India". In this paper he has proposed Democratic Reform for Donation Justice (DR DJ) Framework seeks to address the inherent flaws of the previous system by emphasizing transparency, equity, and public accountability.

The Electoral Bond Scheme, launched in 2018, was initially seen as a step towards cleansing political donations from the shadows of anonymity and black money. However, it soon became evident that the scheme's provision for donor anonymity contradicted the essential democratic values of transparency and accountability, leading to the Supreme Court's decisive ruling.

In the aftermath of the ruling, Prof. Kumar's DR DJ Framework emerges as a beacon of reform, proposing a set of measures designed to overhaul the current landscape of political funding. A key feature of this framework is the introduction of a meticulously developed formula for determining the upper cap of individual donations and public financing. This framework aims at curbing the undue influence of wealth in politics while promoting a level playing field for all political entities.

Caps and Public Financing: The DR DJ Formula
Prof. Kumar's formula for political funding introduces a dual approach:
  1. Cap on Individual Donations:
    The framework suggests a maximum cap for individual donations made through electoral bonds or any other methods. This cap is envisioned to democratize political funding, encouraging broader participation from the general public without allowing any single entity to wield disproportionate influence over political parties.
  2. Public Exchequer Funding:
    Recognizing the need for political parties to secure adequate resources, Prof. Kumar proposes a system of public financing matched to the amount of individual donations received, subject to an upper cap. This formula aims to strike a balance between enabling political parties to campaign effectively while preventing the accumulation of power solely through financial means.
The formula for the upper cap on public financing takes into account the total number of seats contested by a political party, with additional considerations based on the party's status (national or state) and its performance in individual donations. This nuanced approach ensures that public funds are distributed equitably, reflecting both the democratic participation and the electoral success of political parties.

Towards a Transparent and Equitable Future
DR DJ Framework and its associated formula represent a thoughtful response to the Supreme Court's call for reform in political funding. By setting clear limits on individual donations and establishing a transparent system of public financing, the framework aims to restore faith in the democratic process, ensuring that political parties are accountable to the electorate rather than to undisclosed financial backers.

Moreover, the proposed reforms underscore the importance of public oversight and the role of the Election Commission of India in monitoring and enforcing these new funding regulations. This comprehensive approach not only addresses the concerns highlighted by the Supreme Court but also paves the way for a more transparent, accountable, and equitable political landscape in India.

As the nation contemplates the ramifications of the Supreme Court's historic decision, the scholarly work and contributions of Pro. Kumar emerge as an instrument in navigating the complexities of political funding reform. His meticulously crafted framework underscored by its funding formulae, presents a formidable opportunity for substantive reform aimed at fortifying the pillars of India's democracy for future generations.

This innovative approach not only promises to mitigate the disproportionate influence exerted by affluent individuals on public policy but also pledges to usher in an era of transparency, inclusivity, and fairness within the democratic process. By establishing a balanced and equitable playing field, the framework ensures that all national and state parties have equal opportunity to participate and thrive in the political arena, marking a significant stride towards rectifying the imbalances that have long plagued the system.

Read the full research paper:

Written By: Prof. Dinesh Kumar is the founder of Pomento and Mission Dost-E-Jahan. He has authored multiple write-ups, including multiple books, research papers, book chapters, patents, etc. He can be contacted at

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