PM CARES Fund | Supreme Court seeks government reply

Petition seeks transfer of contributions made to fight COVID-19 to National Disaster Response Fund

Updated - June 17, 2020 11:41 pm IST

Published - June 17, 2020 10:50 pm IST - NEW DELHI



The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought a response from the government to a plea that contributions made to the PM CARES Fund to fight COVID-19 should be transferred entirely to the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).

A Bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan asked the government to respond to NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation’s petition that future contributions and grants by individuals and institutions for the COVID-19 battle should be credited to the NDRF and not the PM CARES Fund. The NDRF should be used in the fight against the virus.

Also read | How different is the PM CARES Fund from the PM’s National Relief Fund?

“lssue a writ, order or direction to the Union of lndia to utilise NDRF for providing assistance in the fight against COVID-19 in compliance with Section 46 of the Disaster Management Act, all the contributions/grants from individuals and institutions shall be credited to the NDRF... All the fund collected in the PM CARES Fund till date may be directed to be transferred to the NDRF,” the petition said.

National Plan

It also asked the court to direct the government to frame a National Plan to deal with pandemic.

“The latest National Plan uploaded on the website of the National Disaster Management Authority is of the year 2019. It does not comprehensively deal with the situation arising out of the current pandemic and has no measures like lockdown, containment zones, social distancing, etc,” the petition, represented by senior advocate Dushyant Dave and advocate Prashant Bhushan, said.

Also read | PM CARES is not a public authority under RTI Act: PMO

The plea said the part of the current National Plan which dealt with ‘Biological and Public Health Emergencies’ did not mention any of the measures that could be taken to control the pandemic.

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