News By/Courtesy: Daksh Dave | 04 Jun 2020 20:15pm IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • RTI
  • PM Cares
  • High Court of Delhi

The Prime Minister’s office earlier refused to give information about the “PM Cares Fund” under Section 2(h) of the Right to Information Act, 2005, stating that the fund does not fall under the definition of ‘public authority’.

A petition was filed before the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi requesting instructions to the PM CARES Fund for the release of information under the Right to Information Act, 2005. The Plaintiff argues that the fund is a 'public body' within the scope of Section 2(h) of the RTI Act and is thus obliged to reveal not just the specifics of the amount of money donated but also the specifics of its application. The petition was favored by Advocate Dr. Surender Singh Hooda on the behalf of the appellant.  Based on media reports, the appellant told the court that, on 31 May, the PM CARES Fund declined to publish the information requested by Harsha Kundakarni under the Right to Information Act, 2005.

The petition states that the fund was created to facilitate the needs of the deprived while battling with COVID-19, an emergency, for which Rs 10,000 crore had been collected through donations from the general public, including donations from public sector undertakings, salaries of military personnel, civil servants and members of the judiciary.

In that circumstance, the reluctance of the trustees of the Fund to disclose information concerning the management of the Fund raises a deeply serious apprehension, the petitioner argued.

The petitioner argues that "It is well known that sunlight is the best disinfectant and all the undesirable activities are done under the cover of darkness. Transparency is the bedrock of rule of law and opaqueness smells of ulterior motives or at least is indicative of feudal mindset and hawkish attitude, which is opposed to being fair, just and reasonable in public dealings."

He, therefore, declared that he had submitted this plea on the behest of every victim of COVID-19 who also had the right to be informed how the Fund spent the donations.

"The soldiers of our armed forces, who have also donated their hard-earned wages, do have the right to know that their commitment has been against the goals set by the Fund. Members of the public who have also donated have the right to know," the petitioner continues when he states that the PM CARES Fund is managed by the Government.

The Hon’ble High Court is likely to take up the matter on 10.06.2020. The petitioner, therefore prays that the PM Cares fund be included under the purview of the RTI Act and the details concerning the allocation of the fund are disclosed in the interest of justice.

THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT INTEND TO HURT THE SENTIMENTS OF ANY INDIVIDUAL, COMMUNITY, SECT, OR RELIGION ETCETERA. THIS ARTICLE IS BASED PURELY ON THE AUTHOR'S PERSONAL VIEWS AND OPINIONS IN THE EXERCISE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT GUARANTEED UNDER ARTICLE 19(1)(A) AND OTHER RELATED LAWS BEING FORCE IN INDIA, FOR THE TIME BEING.

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 04 Jun 2020 22:37pm IST


Tags : PM Cares

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