- · The fund was set up by the PM back in 2020 to provide assistance to the citizens of India during pandemic
- · The PMO has informed the parties seeking a legal investigation that the funds consisted of voluntary donations and were not subject to audit by the CAG, through an affidavit
- · The next date of hearing is on September 27
Today, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the Union Government have informed the Delhi high court that the PM CARES Fund is not subjected to come under the domain of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. According to them, the fund cannot be counted as a “public authority”, nor can it be registered as a ‘state’.
The message was conveyed by the Centre through an affidavit, to a bench headed by Justice DN Patel and Jyoti Singh, as a response to the calls seeking for the legal position of the PM’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES). The Centre said that the Fund came into existence as a public charitable trust. It did not fall under the domain of the Constitution of India, or any Parliamentary or Legislative law.
Earlier, lawyer Samyak Gangwal has pleaded for the declaration of the PM CARES Fund as a “State” under the constitution to ensure that its functioning is translucent. He has sought to bring PM Cares under the domain of the RTI as a “public authority” in another petition. In spite of the matter being registered on Wednesday, it was not followed up. 27 September is the date of the next hearing.
“PM Cares Fund comprises voluntary donations made by individuals and institutions and is not a part of business or function of the central government in any manner. PM CARES Fund is not a part of any government scheme or business of the central government and being a public trust, it is also not subject to the audit of Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG),” says the Union government, as a response to the pleas to bring it under the realms of legal investigation.
The PM Cares Fund which was set up by the PM earlier on March 27, 2020, to provide the citizens of India abetment during the time of pandemic has received defiance from various lawyers, activists and political parties on grounds of transparency.