PM CARES fund: Delhi HC allows Centre more time to file detailed reply

The Delhi High Court on Friday granted more time to the Centre to file a detailed response to a petition seeking a declaration that the PM CARES Fund is “state” under Article 12 of the Constitution.

Seeking a detailed reply in the matter from the government, a division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad said: “It is an important issue requiring a proper response.”

The matter will be further heard on January 31 next year.

In the previous hearing also, court had asked the Centre to file a “detailed and exhaustive” reply following a one-page affidavit response filed by the PMO Secretary.

The court was hearing the plea filed by Samyak Gangwal, seeking a declaration that the fund is “state” under Article 12 of the Constitution and to restrain it from using Prime Minister of India or Prime Minister, including its abbreviations, in its name and on its website.

According to the Centre’s earlier submissions, PM CARES Fund is not a “public authority” under the ambit of Section 2 (h) of the RTI Act, further clarifying that no government money is credited to the PM CARES Fund and only unconditional and voluntary contributions are accepted in it.

“It is reiterated that the Trust’s fund is not a fund of the Government of India and the amount does not go in the Consolidated Fund of India,” said an earlier affidavit filed by the PMO.

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