The Supreme Court is to give its judgement on a plea asking to transfer all the funds received under the PM Cares Fund to date to the National Disaster Relief Fund to help fight the Covid-19 Pandemic. The NDRF is a statutory fund that was created under Section 46 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
The verdict will be pronounced by a three-judge bench, headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan. The petition, filed by an NGO- Centre For Public Interest Litigation, had claimed that the PM Cares Fund was created in contravention of the Disaster Management Act, as it was created with the purpose of using the garnered funds towards any kind of extremity or crisis, such as the Covid-19 Pandemic, whereas the Disaster Management Act states that any grant made by any person or institution for the purpose of disaster management should be compulsorily credited to NDRF. The petitioner, senior advocate Dushyant Dave and advocate Prashant Bhushan submitted “Even though there is a provision for NDRF under Section 46 of the Disaster Management Act, the central government has come up with a PM CARES Fund. All the contributions being made by individuals and institutions in relation to the Covid-19 crisis are being credited into the PM CARES Fund and not to the NDRF, in clear violation of Section 46 of the DM Act.”
The Supreme Court is set to decide whether the PM Cares Fund is a violation of the DM Act or not, and whether the funds collected are to be transferred to NDRF.