SC dismisses plea seeking transfer of funds from PM CARES to NDRF

The court said PM CARES is a charitable trust and there was no need to transfer funds to NDRF

PM Care fund

The Supreme Court has dismissed a petition seeking transfer of funds from PMCARES to the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF). The petition was filed by Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) seeking that all present and future collections, contributions, and grants for the fight against Covid-19 should be credited towards the NDRF in tandem with section 46(1)(b) of the Disaster Management Act. 

The bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah held that there was no need for a fresh national disaster relief plan for Covid-19 and the standards of relief issued under the Disaster Management Act before Covid-19, were adequate, reported LiveLaw.

The Bench further stated that the Centre is free to transfer funds to NDRF if it deems it appropriate and that people are at liberty to donate to NDRF as well.

On July 27, the bench had heard both parties and had reserved the judgement in the case. LiveLaw reported that Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave had appeared on behalf of the petitioners and submitted that setting up of the PM CARES fund was in fact a “fraud upon the Constitution”.

The petition had stated, “The Central Government could have, and should have, included NDRF too (apart from SDRF) for the purpose of providing assistance in the fight against the Covid-19 virus which was decided to be treated as a notified disaster. However, the Central Government chose not to do it so for reasons best known to it.”

The petition had also sought directions to the Centre for formulating a National Plan as per the provisions of the Disaster Management Act. As per the Act, the National Plan is to be made in consultation with state governments as well as after seeking the opinion of experts and it is to be prepared by the National Executive committee.

The Court held that the National Disaster Plan, 2019 and the minimum standards of relief which were already in place prior to Covid-19 were sufficient to deal with the pandemic. It further stated that funds collected in PM CARES were for a charitable trust and there was no need to transfer the same to NDRF.

News18 reported that the bench held that PM Cares Fund are about voluntary donations to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and the budgetary allocations are in the form of a public trust. The bench further, reportedly, stated that NDRF is a statutorily created fund, which has nothing to do with the PM Cares Fund.

The PM CARES Fund was set up on March 28 with the primary objective to deal with any kind of emergency situation like the one currently posed by the Covid-19 outbreak and provide relief to those affected. The Prime Minister is the ex-officio chairman of the fund and the defence, home and finance ministers are its ex-officio trustees.

The story will be updated once the judgment is available.


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