Plea in Supreme Court for making PM CARES fund party in case on Covid-19 management

By: |
May 20, 2021 2:45 AM

“However, in proceedings before the Delhi High Court and media reports, there have been conflicting reports about how many of these plants were installed and were operational,” Gokhale alleged.

supreme courtThe bench had asked the Centre, the petitioner activists and the states to file written notes in the matter.

A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court (SC) seeking to make the PM CARES fund as a party in the suo moto case related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Activist Saket Gokhle in his application told the SC that PM CARES fund, promoted by the Prime Minister himself, is an “important stakeholder” in the procurement and funding of essential supplies and services for the Covid-19 pandemic since last year, thus should be made a respondent in the case.

He said that the PM CARES fund being a non-governmental stakeholder has been involved closely in the distribution and supplies of essentials during a pandemic. “It is important that PM CARES fund make available all information to the SC on the various allocations it has made towards fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and how it has monitored the progress of projects to which monetary allocations were made,” he added.

PM CARES fund announced in May last year had allocated Rs 3,000 crore for Covid-19 of which Rs 2,000 crore will be earmarked for the purchase of ventilators, Rs 1,000 crore will be used for the care of migrant labourers and Rs 100 crore will be given to support vaccine development, the application said, adding that it allocated Rs 201.58 crore for installation of additional 162 dedicated Pressure Swing Adsorption Medical Oxygen Generation Plants inside public health facilities in the country.

“However, in proceedings before the Delhi High Court and media reports, there have been conflicting reports about how many of these plants were installed and were operational,” Gokhale alleged.

While the Centre stated that no money was allocated or spent by it towards Covid-19 vaccine development, and hence it had no control over deciding the pricing of the vaccines, the “PM CARES fund itself has declared an allocation of Rs 100 crore towards vaccine development and it is unclear whether any additional funds were allocated for the same purpose for which information was not made available in the public domain,” the plea stated.

“PM CARES fund has been an independent and separate entity from the Union of India that has been collecting and disbursing funds for several Covid-19 related activities including for the development of vaccines. PM CARES fund has not declared its accounts and has rejected RTI enquiries into the same because it is not a public authority,” the plea stated.

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