Supreme Court Crushes Cong Plan To Gain Financial Control Over PM-Cares Fund
The nefarious plans of the lobby led by Sonia Gandhi to gain financial control over PM-Cares Fund and use the donations thereof for political purposes has come to a naught after the Supreme Court dismissed a plea seeking transfer of the money to NDRF.
The lobby has been demanding transfer of funds under PM-Cares to NDRF to find an opportunity to use people’s money for political purposes. After all, the primary purpose of the National Disaster Response Fund is to supplement the State Disaster Response Fund. Some states are being ruled by Congress party, which gives an opportunity for Sonia Gandhi to gain control over SDRF.
PM-Cares, however, denies any control over the funds by Sonia Gandhi and use it for political purposes. Many revelations about Rajiv Gandhi Foundation receiving donations from various agencies including Prime Minister’s National Relief Funds only buttresses the point.
In fact, Congress had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding transfer of PM-Cares fund to PMNRF, with the sole purpose of gaining control over the fund as President of the Indian National Congress is one of the members of PMNRF.
The PM Cares Fund, on the contrary, denies any political representation. In fact, it is far more adequate and transparent than PMNRF, except that it has incensed the bloated ego of Sonia Gandhi, whose sole aim is to crown the Congress scion Rahul Gandhi as Prime Minister.
Jawaharlal Nehru, who set up PMNRF, included Congress President as a member of its management committee to maintain his family’s control over it. Meaning – any prime minister should get the nod from his family member to spend even a penny from PMNRF.
To undo this, Prime Minister Modi set up PM-Cares wherein the entire management of the fund is in the hands of members of the government with no political representation.
Just because the Congress President has found no place in it, should PM Cares become opaque? The answer lies in the Supreme Court’s verdict. It has dismissed the petition seeking transfer of PM-Cares fund to NDRF.
The three-judge bench held that contributions to PM Cares are voluntary and there are no restrictions on donors to make donations to NDRF. Therefore, the funds need not be transferred, it added.
It also rejected the petitioner’s plea to set up a National Plan for COVID-19.
The writ petition was filed by Centre for Public Interest Litigation, an NGO.
It alleged that PM Cares was set up in violation of provisions under the Disaster Management Act. It argued that, under this act, a person or an institution should compulsorily credit funds into NDRF.
THe NGO also questioned PM-Cares audit mechanism by arguing that it should be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General, instead of a private auditor.
The Centre, in its affidavit, had defended creation of PM-Cares and opposed transfer of these funds to NDRF.
PM Cares was set up by the central government on March 28 as a public charitable trust with the primary objective of dealing with any kind of emergency or distress situation such as that posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Notably, with open-hearted donations from the public, corporates and celebrities, it collected over Rs 6500 crores within a few days of its launch.
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