PRIME MINISTER’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situation Fund (PM-CARES Fund)is a charitable trust under the law. Delhi High Court has said that the trust’s fund is not a fund of the Government of India. Its amount does not go in the Consolidated Fund of India.
PRADEEP KUMAR’S STATEMENT
“Irrespective of whether the trust is a “State” or other authority within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution of India and or whether it is a ‘public authority’ within the meaning of section 2[h] of Right to Information Act, Section 8 in general and that of provisions contained in sub section [e] and [j], in particular, of the Right to Information Act, it is not permissible to disclose third party information,” Pradeep Kumar Srivastava, an Under Secretary at the PMO said in a reply.
Meanwhile they made the submissio in response to a petition . However, the plea said,they gave a copy of the trust deed the PM-CARES Fund on its website. According to which governmemt had not created it under the Constitution or by any law made by Parliament. The plea contends that citizens of the country are aggrieved that a fund set up by the Prime Minister. With trustees like the PM and ministers of Home, Defence and Finance they declared it to be a fund without government control.
Also Srivastava told the court he functions in the trust on an honorary basis .The trust functions with transparency and an auditor audits it. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India set up the trust.
To ensure transparency, they put the report on the official website . This is along with the details of utilisation of funds , the reply said.
Meanwhile the petition filed by Samyak Gangwal states that the Ministry formed PM-CARES Fund in March 2020. It was for a noble purpose of extending assistance to the citizens in wake of Covid-19 pandemic and trust donated hugely . However, the plea said, a copy of the trust deed was released by the PM-CARES Fund on its website. This was on December 2020, according to which it is not created by or under the Constitution . Image credit: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Narendra_Modi_2021.jpg