The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to pass an order to direct the government to transfer the contributions made under the PM CARES fund to the NDRF.
The Congress party has said that the Supreme Court has ‘lost an opportunity’ to bring in transparency in the PM Cares fund. Reacting to the Supreme Court’s judgement rejecting a petition seeking orders to the government to transfer all contributions to the PM CARES fund into the National Disaster Relief Fund, party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala termed it a ‘body blow to transparency and accountability’ of the government to the people.
“The SC judgment is a body blow to transparency and accountability of Govt to people. It marks a sad letter day for responsibility and answerability of rulers to the electorate and reminds them that they are not ‘Monarchs’ but ‘servants of the people’,” Surjewala tweeted.
“SC scrupulously believed that ‘sunlight is the best disinfectant’. Today, the Court, in a departure from that tradition, passed up an opportunity to demand answers on the #PMCaresFund that seeks public money but plays by its own opaque & murky rules,” he added in another tweet.
The apex court on Tuesday declined to pass an order to direct the government to transfer the contributions made under the PM CARES fund to the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF). A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said that voluntary contribution can always be made to the NDRF as there is no statutory bar under the Disaster Management Act.
The petition in the Supreme Court was filed by NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation. It had sought a direction that all the money collected under the PM CARES fund to fight the pandemic be transferred to the NDRF.
The Centre had in March set up the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) fund to help raise money to fight the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Congress party has been alleging wrongdoings in the fund and demanded that money be transferred to the NDRF.
Rahul Gandhi had earlier tweeted “PM CARES for Right To Improbity” while tagging a news report that alleged the Prime Minister’s Office had denied an RTI application seeking information on the fund.
Earlier in May, a case was filed against Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Karnataka in connection with a tweet posted on the party’s official handle. The tweet claimed misuse of PM CARES fund.