Stating that the Money collected under the PM CARES Fund for the coronavirus pandemic cannot be transferred to National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), the Supreme Court on Monday passed its verdict after hearing arguments over the Public Interest Litigation (CPIL).
The Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subshash Reddy, and MR Shah also held that contributions to the PM CARES Fund are voluntary and clarified that funds collected under the PM CARES Fund is entirely different from the NDRF. The apex court also said that there is no need for a fresh national disaster relief plan.
However, the government is free to transfer money to the disaster response fund if it feels appropriate to do so, the top court said. The petition filed at the Supreme Court claimed that the NDRF is not being utilised by the authorities, and establishing the PM CARES fund is outside the scope of the Disaster Management Act.
The Centre had contended that the petition seeking a direction that the funds received by PM CARES Fund to be credited to NDRF (National Disaster Relief Fund) is neither maintainable on merits nor is maintainable under Article 32 as all funds other than the funds stipulated under section 46 of Disaster Management Act, 2005 are separate, different and distinct, created separately under separate provisions.