Home / News / India /  PM Care not Govt ‘fund’, can't call it a ‘public authority’: PMO to Delhi HC

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has informed the Delhi High Court that the PM Cares Fund is not a Government of India fund and hence, it cannot be called a public authority. It also mentions the Independent Public Charitable Trust does not come under the purview of the Constitution of India.

“This Trust is neither intended to be or is in fact owned, controlled or substantially financed by any Government nor any instrumentality of the Government. There is no control of either the Central Government or any State Governments, either direct or indirect, in the functioning of the Trust in any manner whatsoever," an afidavit regarding the same cites

It further stated that PM CARES is not a "public authority" within the meaning of Section 2(h)(d) of the Right to Information Act and, therefore, provisions of RTI Act cannot be made applicable on the trust.

PMO categorically mentions that it is a fully voluntary fund where individuals and companies make their contributions willingly. The fund does not accept contributions flowing out of budgetary sources of Government or from the balance sheets of the PSUs. It also mentions that the fund enjoys tax exemptions like any other charitable trusts.

“Contributions made to PMCARES Fund/Trust are exempted under the Income Tax Act, 1961, but that by itself would not justify the conclusion that it is a "Public Authority," it says.

PMO also underlies that no guidelines can be set regarding how the fund can be disbursed. However, the audited reports of the same are available at the government website

“Subsequent audited details of accounts will also be made available on the website, as and when due. Hence, assumptions of the petitioner regarding arbitrariness or non-transparency are devoid of merit," the response states.

The PMO was responding to a plea by Samyak Gangwal who claimed PM CARES Fund is "State" under Article 12 of the Constitution and accordingly, sought a declaration of the same. Senior Advocate Shyam Divan, who appeared for the PMO in front of the High Court, argued that High functionaries of the government like the Vice-President had requested the Rajya Sabha members to make donations. He said all these high functionaries are very responsible people and the PM Cares Fund has been projected as a government fund.




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