The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the Union Government to reply to a petition seeking the deletion of the photo and name of the Prime Minister from the PM CARES Fund Trust’s official website.
A Division Bench of Justices A.A. Sayed and S.G. Dige was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Vikrant Chavan, a member of the Congress party.
The PIL sought the deletion of the PM’s name and photo along with images of the national flag and emblem of India from the PM Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (CARES) Trust official website.
As per the plea, it is violative of the provisions of the Constitution of India and The Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act.
The PIL mentions, “The Trust was set up on March 27, 2020, as a public charitable trust to extend support and relief for a public health emergency or any other kind of emergency or calamity. The fund trust claims to consist of voluntary contributions made by individuals/organisations and does not get any budgetary support from the government and the contributions made would qualify for 100 per cent exemption under the Income Tax Act.”
“The trust does not discharge any governmental or sovereign functions. It is an admitted position that the trust is not a Government of India fund and the amount collected by it does not go to the Consolidated Fund of India. In such a position it would be improper for the trust to use the name of the Prime Minister or his photograph and the image of the national flag and the Emblem of India on its official website,” the PIL adds.
The Bench directed the Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, representing the Centre, to respond to the plea and adjourned the matter to be heard on October 25.