Delhi High Court Declines To Issue Notice On Plea Seeking Declaration Of PM CARES Fund As “State” Under Constitution, Lists In April

first_imgNews UpdatesDelhi High Court Declines To Issue Notice On Plea Seeking Declaration Of PM CARES Fund As “State” Under Constitution, Lists In April Shreya Agarwal9 March 2021 7:33 AMShare This – xA division bench of the Delhi High Court today said that it was not inclined to issue notice on a plea seeking 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 of India. However, it listed the case for hearing April, with another pending…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginA division bench of the Delhi High Court today said that it was not inclined to issue notice on a plea seeking 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 of India. However, it listed the case for hearing April, with another pending plea seeking declaration of the fund as “public authority” under the Right to Information (RTI) 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 it 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 Fund has received flak from various quarters earlier as well after it was declared a private entity in its Trust Deed which was made public in December 2020. The grounds advanced by Gangwal to seek the Fund’s declaration as State include the fact that the Prime Minister, Defence Minister, Home Minister and the Finance Minister of India are the trustees of the Fund; that the Government has represented vide/in letters written by High Government Functionaries, Notifications/Office Memorandums issued by several ministries/departments that the Fund is set up and operated by the Government of India; that the representations have made use of government resources such as the domain name ‘.gov.in’, the State Emblem of India and the name ‘Prime Minister’; and that the official address of the PM CARES Fund was stated to be the Prime Minister’s Office South Block, New Delhi- 110011. The prayers made by the petitioner inter alia include the declaration that the PM CARES Fund is ‘State’ under Article 12 of the Constitution of India. The petition also seeks for direction for disclosure of audit reports on the website periodically, details on donations received every quarter, and their utilisation, and resolutions on the expenditure of donations. The petition prays that in the absence of such disclosures, the fund should be declared and publicised to not be a fund of the Government of India. Senior Advocate Shyam Divan along with Advocates Debopriyo Moulik, Ayush Shrivastava, Krishnesh Bapat and Govind Manoharan represented the petitionerNext Storylast_img read more