PMO: PM Cares Fund not a ‘Public Authority’

News: The office of the Prime Minister said that the PM Cares Fund does not qualify as a ‘public authority’ under the RTI Act, and on those grounds, refused to divulge details of the fund.

Here are five components of the story:

  • This statement by the office of the Prime Minister came out on May 29 in response to the RTI application made on April 1.
  • The RTI application filed  sought details of the constitution of the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund, copies of the fund’s trust deed, and the relevant government orders related to its creation and functioning.
  • “The 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 the fund may be seen on the website” the PMO said in response to the RTI application.
  • The “relevant information” referenced in the quote above is not available on the website, as reported by LiveLaw.
  • According to a report by The Hindu, Kandukuri is preparing to appeal further arguing that the name, composition of the trust, control, usage of the emblem, government domain name signifies that PM-CARES fund is a public authority.
  • Harsha further said, while speaking to LiveLaw, “By denying PM CARES fund the status of ‘public authority’, it is only reasonable to infer that it is not controlled by the Government. If that is the case, who is controlling it?’

There have been several instances since the inception of the PM CARES fund on March 28 where the Prime Minister’s Office has refused to divulge details about the operations of the fund and where said funds are being directed towards.

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