Supreme Court dismisses plea to direct transfer of contributions made to PM Cares to NDRF
By Vivek Raj | Galatta | Aug 18, 2020, 03:05 pm
The Supreme Court on Tuesday said the money collected under the PM Cares Fund for the coronavirus pandemic crisis need not be transferred to the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF). The Apex Court stated the funds collected under the PM Cares Fund are "entirely different" and have been contributed on the basis of charity. The top court further added that it is up to the government to transfer the money to the disaster response fund if it feels the need to do so.
In response to a petition filed by an NGO called the Centre for Public Interest Litigation, the Supreme Court said any contribution or grant can be credited to the NDRF and anyone can make a voluntary contribution. In the petition, the NGO had requested the court to direct the transfer of contributions made to the PM CARES Fund for the COVID-19 outbreak to the National Disaster Response Fund. The petition asserted that the PM Cares Fund was violating the provisions of the Disaster Management Act.
The top court refused to entertain such a request to the Centre and added that there was no requirement for any new plan, while stating that the current one under the National Disaster Management Act, initiated last November by the government was sufficient to deal with COVID-19. The verdict was delivered today through video-conferencing by a three-judge bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah.
In regard to the legal validity of the fund, the Congress and others have raised questions for the need of it, citing the similar Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF).
In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) Fund was set up on March 28 to combat the current emergency and any crisis as such the country is dealing with at present and also provide relief to those affected. The Prime Minister is the ex-officio chairman of the fund and the defence, home and finance ministers are ex-officio trustees.