PM CARE FUND NO RTI RIGHT FOR US BY MONISHA ACHARYA @LEXCLIQ

INTRODUCTION
Prime Minister care fund was started with the motto to help the people who have suffer due to covid in India. In this crisis situation of country where people are losing their loved ones and are dealing with financial crisis due to lockdown situation.
Situation in the country have not only affected the lives of the citizen but also economic growth of the country.
And to overcome all these situation PM Care Fund was started where donation was made by individual and trustees to help the people of India who were affected in this scenario.

PRIME-MINISTER’S CITIZENS ASSISTENCE AND RELIEF IN EMERGENCY SITUTION FUND –
ON 28 MARCH 2020, Prime Minister started this policy of PM Care fund this was a charitable trust which collect funds for the covid affected people.
This scheme used to accept fund voluntarily and individually.
In Income Tax act the donation have been –
100 % exempted from Income Tax Act.
Fund will be audited by Independent Auditors
In company Act it is counted as CSR
Independent Auditors will be appointed through trustees.
In one and half months, the fund has raked in thousands of crores worth of donations including unlimited tax – free contributions from major corporates.
Earlier with same objectives Prime Minister National Relief Fund was started – In 1948,
This was started to help and to provide the immediate relief to the families of those killed in –
Natural Calamities I.e. Earthquake, Flood etc.
Victim of major accident and riots
Support medical expenses for Acid Attack Victim and others.
In 2018 RTI was filed to know whether It comes under the Public Authority or not and this petition is still pending in High Court.
And many times congress leader Sonia Gandhi suggested the government to transfer all the PM Care fund money to Prime Minister National Relief Fund.

Many Right to Information petition is filed for PM Care Fund to know how much they have allocated, utilised and where, they have used it. And in response to this Government of India said PM CARE FUND does not comes under Public Authority.
And stated that to know any detail go to pmcares.gov.in website.
The reply further stated that even then the fund is not a public authority as it is “not at all financed by the appropriate government and administered by private individuals as trustees” This response is in clear violation of the law laid down by the Delhi high court in the NSE case because if ‘ownership and control’ are with the government, that alone is sufficient for the fund to be a public authority.
Right to Information Act sec 2 (H) – says about the public authority
Public AUTHORITY IS A BODY ESTABLISHED BY –
The Constitution
Any Law made by Parliament
Law made by State Legislature and
A Notification or Order issued by the Government.

So government keeping secrecy is of no benefit as these fund are being collected for the welfare of the citizen and it is the duty of government to keep transparency in the system. And every citizen should know where these funds are being utilised.

 

Monisha Acharya

An aspiring lawyer in process.

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