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SC issues notice on plea to transfer funds from PM CARES to NDR Fund - New Delhi News

New Delhi, June 17 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Centre on a PIL seeking to transfer funds from PM CARES Fund to National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).

Updated Jun 17, 2020 14:52 PM

SC issues notice on plea to transfer funds from PM CARES to NDR Fund - New Delhi News

A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M.R. Shah asked the Centre to file a response within four weeks. The Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) in the plea claimed that in the backdrop of Covid-19 pandemic, NDRF is not being utilized by the authorities, and establishing the PM CARES Fund is outside the scope of the Disaster Management Act.

The petitioner argued that the entire fund collected in the PM CARES Fund to date may be directed to be transferred to the NDRF.

"The Centre may be directed to utilize NDRF for the purpose of providing assistance in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic in compliance with Section 46 of the DM Act, all the contributions/grants from individuals and institutions shall be credited to the NDRF in terms of Section 46(1)(b) rather than to PM CARES Fund and all the funds collected in the PM Cares Fund to date may be directed to be transferred to the NDRF", said the PIL.

The petition argued that there is need to put in place a broader and well- thought out national plan outlining inter alia a detailed coordination mechanism between Centre and states.

"Section 11 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 (hereinafter referred to as the "DM Act") makes it mandatory for a national plan to be drawn up for disaster management for whole of the country, but currently, there is no such national plan in place to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic", argued the plea.

The petitioner also cited lack of transparency associated with PM CARES Fund, as it cannot be audited by CAG. And, it is also outside the purview of RTI, added the plea.

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for the petitioner, argued before the bench that the plea was not against the government, instead the petitioner is seeking assistance from the government.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta opposed Dave's argument seeking issuance of notice on the plea.

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