As per the petition , the PM CARES trust, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as its chairperson and ministers from departments of Defence, Home and Finance as its members, was created with the prime objective of dealing with the emergency or distress caused by the coronavirus.
The trust was created in order to have financial assistance from people in the country and also from overseas to provide relief and assistance to those affected by COVID-19 pandemic, it said.
As per the guidelines of the PM CARES Fund, apart from the chairperson and three other trustees, the chairperson had to appoint or nominate three more trustees. However, from the formation of the trust on March 28, 2020 till date no appointment has been made, the petition claimed.
Waghmare in his petition sought a direction to the government to declare funds received and expenditure of the same on the governments website periodically.
The petition has sought a direction to the government and the trust to appoint or nominate at least two members from opposition parties to have proper check and transparency.
“In order to fortify and strengthen general publics faith and confidence, it is necessary to issue a direction to the government to declare the funds collected by PM CARES trust till date, and how the same have been used for the benefits of citizens affected by coronavirus, the plea said.
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh angry reacted to the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court that the petition, filed by advocate Arvind Waghmare, should be dismissed.
A similar petition against setting up of the PM CARES fund was dismissed by the Supreme Court in April, he informed a division bench of Justices S B Shukre and A S Kilor.
The bench, however, noted that the petition before it was seeking different reliefs, and directed the Union government to file an affidavit in response to the plea within two weeks.
“File an affidavit stating whatever is your (Union government’s) stand, the court said.
it is to be noted on May 29, Disposing RTI application filed by Harsha, a student of LLM in Azim Premji University at Bengaluru, the Public Information Officer of PMO said: “PM CARES Fund is not a public authority under the ambit of Section 2(h) of the RTI Act, 2005. However, relevant information in respect of PM CARES Fund may be seen on the website pmcares.gov.in”.