PM-CARES Fund, not a fund of Government of India: Centre informs Delhi HC

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Representative Image

New Delhi [India], September 23 (ANI): The PM CARES Fund is not a fund of the Government of India and the amount does not go in the Consolidated Fund of India, Prime Minister's Office (PMO) informed the Delhi High Court.

"It is reiterated that the Trust's fund is not a fund of Government of India and the amount does not go in the Consolidated Fund of India," said an affidavit filed by PMO.

PMO also said that PM CARES Trust is a charitable Trust not created by or under the Constitution of India or by any law made by the Parliament or by any State legislature.

"I state that the Trust functions with transparency and its funds are audited by an auditor who is a Chartered Accountant drawn from the panel prepared by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India," said the affidavit filed by an Under Secretary at the PMO.

The affidavit further added that to ensure transparency, the audited report is put on the official website of the Trust along with the details of utilisation of funds received by the Trust.

"I state and submit that 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 subsection [e] and [j], in particular, of the Right to Information Act, it is not permissible to disclose third party information," read the affidavit.

"Suffice to mention that all donations received by the Trust are received via online payments, cheques and/or Demand Drafts and the amount so received is audited with the audited report and the expenditure of Trust fund displayed on the website. In view of the specific provisions of section 8 of the Right to Information Act, the relief against para 5.3 of the Trust Deed dated March 27, 2020 pales into insignificance."

Adding further, it said that the Trust functions on the principles of transparency and public good in larger public interest like any other charitable trust and, therefore, cannot have any objection in uploading all its resolutions on its website to ensure transparency.

Such a prayer is not only unheard of but is legally not maintainable, Centre said while urging Delhi High Court to dismiss the plea. PMO has filed the affidavit in response to a petition seeking to declare the PM CARES Fund a 'State' under the Constitution to ensure transparency. (ANI)

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