The PM CARES is registered as a “public charitable trust”. The trust is headed by the prime minister.
Mumbai| Amidst the rising criticism regarding transparency, the Bombay High Court has issued a notice to the centre and all trustees of PM CARES fund seeking the declaration of the total amount collected. The notice was issued based on the petition filed by a Nagpur based lawyer Arvind Waghmare. PM CARES fund was set up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak in the country. People from several walks of life have contributed to PM CARES. However, the govt hasn’t yet declared the total amount collected.
The lawyer who himself is a donor of the PM-CARES fund filed the petition in his capacity as the citizen of India. After which the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court headed by Justices Sunil Shukre and Anil Killor issued notices to centre and sought affidavit in two weeks.
Days after a nationwide lockdown was announced in India in the month of March, Prime minister Narendra Modi had announced the creation of PM CARES Fund. The Prime Minister Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund sought voluntary contribution from members of civil society, Firms, Businesses anyone who can contribute some kind of money for the purpose of COVID-19 relief. But the fund is not limited to COVID 19 situation. Modi had said people could contribute to the fund to help the government fight against coronavirus and similar “distressing situations”.
The PM CARES is registered as a “public charitable trust”. The trust is headed by the prime minister. Other ex-officio members of the trust are the defence minister, the home minister and the finance minister.
The questions were raised on the opaqueness of the PM CARES fund. Though a report states that PM CARES received More than 6000 crore rupees within a week of its creation, the govt have refused to divulge the details of donors and the amount contributed by them time and again. It hasn’t answered the RTI queries which sought the info.
The petition sought that the fund should be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, appointment of three more trustees and inclusion of two opposition party members as members.