Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Home Reports PM-CARES: Why it is not under the ambit of RTI

PM-CARES: Why it is not under the ambit of RTI

Also Read

Divyam Shah
A Chemical Engineering student from DJ Sanghvi College of Engineering, Mumbai. I have keen interests in defence, Indian politics and law.

A few days back, some left leaning media portals started publishing articles on the basis of a reply from the PMO regarding an RTI application pertaining to PM-CARES. The application filed by RTI activist Harsha Kandukuri asked the authorities to present the trust deed and other government notifications concerning to the recently set up trust before the public. In return, the PMO refused to discolse the details saying, “PM-CARES is not a public authority, it doesn’t fall under RTI”. This very reply fomented the “Khan Market Gang” and gave them a reason to launch a scathing barrage on the incumbents. However, not much was spoken in the defence of the government for this matter.

But the question still remains- why did the government decline to provide micro-level information regarding the donations? Is it hiding something?

To understand the issue, let us go back in history and break the matter down.

PM National Relief Fund (PM-NRF), a similar trust was set up by our ex PM, Jawaharlal Nehru in his “personal capacity” in the year 1948. Interestingly, PM-NRF too, isn’t under the purview of RTI and CAG. A similar controversy erupted in 2011 on whether it is a “PUBLIC AUTHORITY” or not. Subsequently a legal battle unfolded on the same subject in the Delhi High Court. (Henceforth referring to Delhi HC’s judgement on “PM National Relief Fund vs Aseem Takyar” dated 23rd May, 2018).

Initially Aseem Takyar, (the petitioner then but a respondent now), adhering to a court order sought information about the trust from the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), but was given limited data. He further appealed to the Central Intelligence Commission (CIC) after which the CIC passed a final order directing the CPIO to place all the details of institutional donors of the PM-NRF in public domain. Dismayed by this, the trust filed a writ petition before the Delhi HC challenging the CIC. Unfortunately, the matter was taken up by a single judge who refrained from giving a conclusive finding. Aggrieved by the decision of the judge, the trust (hereafter the appellant) appealed again which was taken up by a two-judge bench.

As the case reopened, a debate arose on the RTI act-sect. 2(h) which defines a “PUBLIC AUTHORITY”. Eventually, all other ambiguities were cleared and the debate boiled down just to one word mentioned in sect. 2(h)(i): – “control”. The judges brainstormed on whether there was substantial evidence to call the trust, “controlled by the government” or not.


Amidst this discourse, another debate that surfaced in court was due to Article 21 of the Indian Constitution which guarantees right to privacy. Moreover, the appellant cited RTI Act sections 8(1)(e) and (j) which exempt some institutions from divulging information in its defence. If PM-NRF is brought under RTI, it would be imperative that information regarding donors and receivers would have be made public. This breaches Article 21. And as PM-NRF is a trust, the fiduciary relationship gets quashed too.

The two-judge bench couldn’t come to a conclusion and referred the case to the then acting Chief Justice. The final verdict hasn’t been delivered yet and thus the matter is subjudice.

PM-CARES has been established on similar lines as the PM-NRF. Thus, whatever the govt has done as far as this matter is concerned is in accordance to the law.


As and when the above case is concluded, the next course of action would be determined for both the trusts. But till then, unnecessary aspersions need not be cast upon either of the two funds which are meant for humanitarian relief and instead work constructively in this hour of a health emergency.

  Support Us  

OpIndia is not rich like the mainstream media. Even a small contribution by you will help us keep running. Consider making a voluntary payment.

Trending now

Divyam Shah
A Chemical Engineering student from DJ Sanghvi College of Engineering, Mumbai. I have keen interests in defence, Indian politics and law.

Latest News

The hoax of Aryan invasion theory

It is unfortunate that many schools still teach the AIT not as a mere theory but as the truth.

Education and liberalism

Is it actually education that “makes” man liberal? Or is it the society and religion that “makes” him conservative?

Urdu script, colonial thoughts

The problem with the Urdu script is that it is not just a living reminder of the evils of invaders and slavers and worse, but it also interferes with the proper implementation of a Justice Delivery System in India, because it aims to place the delivery of Justice solely in the hands of those who can read Urdu script.

राम मंदिर निर्माण से राम राज्य की ओर

सच्चे लोकनायक के रूप में प्रभु श्री राम ने जन जन की आवाज को सुना और राजतंत्र में भी जन गण के मन की आवाज को सर्वोच्चता प्रदान की। राजनीति में शत्रु के विनाश के लिए कमजोर, गरीब और सर्वहारा वर्ग को साथ जोड़ कर सोशल इंजीनियरिंग के बल पर उस युग के सबसे बड़ी ताकत को छिन्न- भिन्न कर दिया। ज्ञात इतिहास में अनेकों पराक्रमी, परम प्रतापी, चतुर्दिक विजयी और न्यायप्रिय राजा हुए लेकिन सही शासन का पर्याय रामराज्य को ही माना गया।

Here is why Hindus must be happy with Muslim devotees expressing their will to attend the Bhūmi Pūjan at Ayodhya

Hindus must evolve from sensationalist proclivities to reason and objectivity, for only the tempered and equanimous shall lead the Hindus in this desired resurgence.

रोज़गार के अवसरों का सृजन करने वाली नीति: राष्ट्रीय शिक्षा नीति 2020

राष्ट्रीय शिक्षा नीति 2020 भारत को विश्वगुरु बनाने में मील का पत्थर साबित होगी पूरे देश मे ही नहीं अब पूरे विश्व भर इसकी तारीफ हो रही है, ये नीति भारत और भारतीयता को अपनी पहचान वापस दिलाएगी एवं यह राष्ट्र के पुनर्निर्माण में एक अहम कदम निभाएगी।

Recently Popular

Digital group chanting of Hanuman Chalisa by the Hindu IT Cell

Hindu IT Cell, a prime volunteer driven organisation for the cyber clean up of Hinduphobes and anti-nationals, has come up with a unique way of celebration with group recitals of Hanuman Chalisa with Ram Bhakts across India.

Striking similarities between the death of Parveen Babi and Sushant Singh Rajput: A mere co-incidence or well planned murders?

Together Rhea and Bhatt’s media statements subtly and cleverly project Sushant as some kind of a nut job like Parveen Babi, another Bhatt conjuring.

Sweeter than Jihadi, higher than installments, deeper than deep-state, all-weather loans- CPEC, a corridor to nowhere

India’s bet on Chabahar port project to reduce the importance of Gwadar has worked, although in some other way.

The indefinite growth of nepotism in India

Nepotism has fixed its root deep and its proliferating growth is something no one can control. This virus has spread widely in the society and no vaccines are still found.

Celebrities – a news factory

Perhaps celebs' market value depends on how popular they are, how many followers they have on Twitter, Facebook etc. So they have this compulsion to keep their visibility high, at all costs.