Plea to declare PM CARES fund a ‘State’

Delhi High Court has asked the Centre to respond to a plea that seeks to declare “Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) Fund a State under the Constitution.

Key Points

  • Petition was filed by a lawyer, Samyak Gangwal.
  • Hearing was posted by a bench comprising of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh on September 13, 2021.
  • Petition seeks to declare PM CARES Fund a ‘State’ under Article 12 in order to ensure transparency in its functioning.

Court’s conclusion

According to the Delhi High Court, PM CARES Fund is not ‘State’ under the Constitution. So, use of the domain name ‘gov’, Prime Minister’s photograph, State emblem etc should be stop.

About the petition

  • According to the petition, PM CARES Fund was created by Prime Minister on March 27, 2020 in order to extend assistance to the citizens of India in the aftermath of COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • It does not allege any wrongdoing on part of the fund. However, as the trustees of PM CARES Fund are high government functionaries, it becomes necessary that checks and balances mentioned in Part III of the Constitution are put in place on the functioning of PM CARES fund in order to do away with any chance of allegation.
  • He also filed one petition to declare PM CARES as a ‘public authority’ under Right to Information (RTI) Act.

About PM CARES Fund

PM CARES fund was created on March 27, 2020 in the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic. Fund was created to combat, contain and boost relief efforts against the pandemic. Documentation for the creation of this fund has not been made public. Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, is the chairman of this fund. Its trustees comprise of Minister of Defence (Rajnath Singh) Minister of Home Affairs (Amit Shah) and Minister of Finance (Nirmala Sitharaman).

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