SC refuses to direct transfer of contributions made to PM CARES for COVID-19 to NDRF


Team Udayavani, Aug 18, 2020, 12:01 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to direct the Centre to transfer the contributions made to the PM CARES Fund for battling the COVID-19 pandemic to the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said that voluntary contribution can always be made to the NDRF as there is no statutory bar under the Disaster Management Act.

The judgement came on a PIL, filed by NGO ”Centre for Public Interest Litigation, seeking a direction that all the money collected under the PM CARES Fund for the COVID-19 pandemic should be transferred to the NDRF.

The PIL had also sought a direction to the government to prepare, notify and implement a national plan under the Disaster Management Act to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bench, also comprising justices R S Reddy and M R Shah, said in its verdict that a plan prepared by the government under the Disaster Management Act was sufficient for COVID-19 also.

The Centre had on March 28 set up the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) Fund with the primary objective to deal with any kind of emergency situation like the one currently posed by the COVID-19 outbreak and provide relief to those affected.

The prime minister is the ex-officio chairman of the fund and the ministers of defence, home and finance are its ex-officio trustees.

During the hearing in the top court on July 27, the Centre had defended the PM CARES Fund saying it is a public trust meant to receive “voluntary contributions” to fight COVID-19 pandemic and the budgetary allocations for NDRF and SDRF are not “being touched”.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had told the court that the PM CARES Fund is a “voluntary fund”, while funds to the NDRF and SDRF (State Disaster Response Fund) are made available through budgetary allocations.

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for the petitioner NGO, had said that they are not doubting the bona fide of anyone but the creation of the PM CARES Fund is allegedly in contravention of provisions of the Disaster Management Act.

He had claimed that an audit of the NDRF is being conducted by the Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) but the government has said the audit of the PM CARES Fund will be done by private auditors.

Dave had also questioned the validity of the PM CARES Fund.

The solicitor general had said that a national plan was prepared in 2019 and that had included the ways to deal with a “biological disaster.”

On June 17, the apex court had asked the Centre to file its response on the plea, which has sought a direction that all the contributions made by individuals and institutions for the COVID-19 pandemic should be credited to the NDRF, rather than to the PM CARES Fund.

The PIL had alleged that the Centre has been “refraining from divulging information about the specific utilization of crores of rupees that have been contributed to the PM CARES Fund till date”.

Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.

Top News

Elon Musk slams UN, warns about population collapse

SC to consider hearing PIL challenging use of EVMs in polls

B’luru: Woman stripped and beaten for stopping her husband from giving alcohol to her 3-yo child

DGCA extends suspension of scheduled international passenger flights till Feb 28

Obscene comments against women: Delhi Police asks Clubhouse app about chat organiser’s details

K’taka CM recovers from COVID, says decision on relaxing curbs likely on Jan 21

Bantwal: 55-year-old man ends life by jumping into Netravati river


Related Articles More

SC to consider hearing PIL challenging use of EVMs in polls

DGCA extends suspension of scheduled international passenger flights till Feb 28

Obscene comments against women: Delhi Police asks Clubhouse app about chat organiser’s details

Security forces on high alert along Pathankot-Jammu highway ahead of Republic Day

Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav’s daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav joins BJP

MUST WATCH

Crocodile and Dead Body found in Kali river Dandeli

Highlights of Sri Krishnapura Paryaya 2022

NEWS BULLETIN 18-01-2022

Paryaya Swamiji Holi bath at Dandateerta

Covid Rules braek at Badami Banashankari devi temple chariote


Latest Additions

Sebi launches mobile app on investor education

SA win toss, opt to bat against India in ODI series opener

This Pakistani city is the home of World Cup footballs

Elon Musk slams UN, warns about population collapse

UP netas granted campaign expenditure limitations,  Rs 6 for samosa and tea, Rs 37 for breakfast

Thanks for visiting Udayavani

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.
To continue reading, please turn it off or whitelist Udayavani.