Delhi High court declines to issue notice on plea seeking declaration of PM CARES fund

A division bench of the Delhi High Court today said that it was not inclined to issue notice on a plea seeking a declaration of the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) Fund as an authority falling under the definition of “State” under Article 12 of the constitution.

However, it listed the case for hearing April, with another pending plea seeking a declaration of the fund as “public authority” under the Right to Information Act. 

Both the petitions moved by an individual Samyak Gangwal are now slated to be heard on Apr 23.

The petitioner’s contention that PM Cares falls under the definition of “State” under Article 12, is based on the argument that it is “deeply and pervasively” controlled by the Government of India which also controls the fund, seeks donations on its behalf and grants its assistance in the form of various privileges, exemptions and benefits.

Formed by the Prime Minister of India in March 2020 to extend assistance to the citizens of India in the wake of the public health emergency of COVID-19.

The petition seeks direction for disclosure of audit reports on the website periodically, details on donations received every quarter, and their utilization, and resolutions on the expenditure of donations.

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