Hon’ble Supreme Court refused to transfer money for COVID-19 relief fund in PM cares fund to NDRF

The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Centre for Public Interest Litigation V. Union of India (Writ Petition (C) No. 546 of 2020) held that the contributions made to PM Cares Fund are voluntary and there is no statutory prohibition on contributions made to National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).

The bench of Hon’ble Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice MR Shah observed that “The funds collected in the PM CARES Fund are entirely different funds to the NDRF”. The hon’ble Court while dismissing the appeal held that the NDRF is a statutory fund set up to assist States and is required to be audited by the CAG while the PM Cares fund was set up as a public charitable trust when the COVD-19 pandemic hit.

With regard to the petitioner’s prayer for laying down minimum standard of relief, the hon’ble Court held that the guidelines issued u/s 12 of the Disaster Management Act providing for minimum standard of relief hold good for COVID-19 pandemic as well.

In effect of the Hon’ble Supreme Court holding PM Cares as a public authority no citizen can obtain details pertaining to the fund through the RTI route.

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