SC Quashes PIL On PM CARES Fund, Calls It ‘Misconceived’

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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a PIL that sought to quash the decision to set up PM CARES fund, a public charitable trust to deal with emergency situation, like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Justice S A Bobde who headed the bench, also comprising justices L Nageswara Rao and M M Shantanagoudar in a video conference described the PIL as "misconceived" and dismissed it. The PIL was filed by lawyer M L Sharma who contended that the fund has been created without following the schemes enumerated under Articles 266 and 267 (which deal with the contingency and the Consolidated Funds of India) of the Constitution.

The bench did not agree with the PIL's contention.

"That cause of action arose to the petitioner on March 28, upon having press release for the formation of impugned PM CARES Fund and appeal by the Prime Minister of India to donate funds in that trust to fight COVID-19 and aid healthcare in future without any ordinance and gazette notification by the government of India," the PIL has said.

The plea had made all the trustees of the fund as well as the prime minister parties to it and had sought a transfer of the donations received so far in the fund to the Consolidated Fund of India, besides a court-monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into the setting up of the fund.

It said the trust had to be created in accordance with Articles 267 and 266(2), which deal with the contingency and the Consolidated Funds of India, of the Constitution.

"Impugned trust has not either been created by Parliament/state legislator within Article 267. It is neither passed by Parliament nor approved by the President of India. There is no ordinance/gazette notification in this regard," the PIL has said.

In order to deal with any kind of emergency or distress situation, like posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to provide relief to the affected, a public charitable trust under the name of ‘Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund’ (PM CARES Fund)’ was set up on March 28, the official site states.

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

Also Read: SC Quashes PIL On PM CARES Fund, Calls It ‘Misconceived’

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