“The right to information is getting abolished and still no one is getting the voice”

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund) was established as a public charitable trust on March 28, 2020.
Its principal goal when founded was to cope with any emergency or distress scenario and bring aid to those impacted. A specific national fund was seen to be necessary, and coping with such circumstances was its main goal.
However, there were other statutory constituted institutions, including the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and the National Disaster Response Fund, which are of a similar type to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund (NDRF).
A petition asking the Hon. Supreme Court to investigate the PM Cares Fund and other Chief Minister Relief Funds and how they are replacing the National and State Disaster Relief Funds was filed as the nation continues to struggle with the effects of the new Coronavirus.
The application was filed against the PM cares fund. The application demanded various information regarding the total fund, PAN details, total amount spent, and the information of the person who has deposited the highest amount.
The applications received a reply that the PM CARES fund is stating that since the PM CARES fund is not a public entity, the necessary information cannot be shared.
The PM CARES Fund is not a public authority. As stated in response to RTIs, information cannot be shared. On the contrary, the Prime Minister’s official website states that a public charitable trust with the name of the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund has been established, taking into consideration the necessity of having a dedicated national fund. Additionally, under the pretense of being a public charity or welfare fund, various legal exemptions have been granted to the same.
Through the PM Cares Fund, Prime Minister Modi has taken advantage of his position and the Covid problem to create a private fund that is solely under his control, allowing him and his associates to further their interests at the expense of the Indian people. It is unlikely that Modi will face legal repercussions for these violations. The court of public opinion, however, is another matter. Hard issues regarding the PM Cares Fund and its lack of transparency are already being raised by civil officials. Civil society, media, and common folks must continue to demand answers as to how precisely the billions of dollars were mishandled by Modi, whose party has suffered politically as a result of his inexcusable handling of the Covid scandal.

By Bhakti Khandelwal


  1. The trust is taking funds from public sector enterprises through their CSR [corporate social responsibility] and from government employees. So there is public money that is also going into the fund. Many public sector companies made contributions to the fund, while the Cabinet secretary appealed to employees in ministries and government departments to donate to the fund. Essentially, at the time of taking funds, the government said that PM-CARES is a public authority but when it comes to giving information and being transparent, the government is claiming that it’s not a public authority, It has retrospectively changed the law to ensure that.


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