A plea has been filed in the Allahabad High Court challenging the validity of Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) and PM CARES Fund.
The petition has been filed by two advocates Diva Pal Singh and Advocate Anubhav Singh contending that the funds are contrary to the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) of the Concurrent List in the Seventh Schedule of the Indian Constitution, which provides that the Government cannot create a Trust by itself.
The petitioners have further submitted that since NDRF is already in existence, hence the creation of other funds is not required. Moreover, the petitioners have submitted that Section72 of the Disaster Management Act states that the NDRF has an upper edge over the PM-CARES Fund.
The petitioners have submitted that since the NDRF is accountable under the RTI Act, 2005; PM CARES Fund will also come under the ambit of RTI. Moreover, the Controller and Auditor General of India (CAG) acts as a check on the misuse, abuse of the NDRF, and ensures transparency by annually submitting the Report, hence auditing of the PM CARES Fund is also essential for the abovementioned purpose.
The Petitioners have urged the Court for directions to bring the PM-CARES Fund within the ambit of CAG and all the details of the funds, the trust to be made public for ensuring transparency and accountability.