Petition against PM-Cares Fund has political colour: Supreme Court
The court was hearing the plea by three lawyers and a law student, who chose not to pursue the case after a three-judge bench headed by NV Ramana asked them to withdraw the petition or face fine.Updated: Apr 27, 2020 22:16 IST
A petition challenging the validity of the PM-Cares Fund, which was set up last month in the wake of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak, and various Chief Minister Relief Funds has a “political colour”, the Supreme Court said on Monday.
The court was hearing the plea by three lawyers and a law student, who chose not to pursue the case after a three-judge bench headed by NV Ramana asked them to withdraw the petition or face fine.
“The petition has a political colour. Either you withdraw it or we will impose fine,” the bench, which also comprised justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and BR Gavai, said.
In their plea filed on April 11, the petitioners submitted that the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF), which aims to aid families affected by natural calamities, the PM-Cares Fund and the Chief Minister Relief Fund of various states did not have the backing of any law.
They argued that the money received in those funds, instead, should be transferred to the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) which are funds created under the Disaster Management Act.
“The Prime Minister is calling for money and promoting the non-statutory ‘PM-Cares Fund’ instead of calling for money and promoting the NDRF which is the statutory fund, under the 2005 Act needed to combat the COVID-19 crisis...,” the petitioners said.
The petitioners also prayed “mass house-to-house tests” should be conducted so as to trace, identify and isolate persons infected by the Sars-Cov-2 virus, which causes Covid-19.
“Universal house-to-house testing is indispensible for the purpose of tracing the carriers/patients and isolating them for good, otherwise the whole exercise of our fight against COVID-19 pandemic would prove to be futile and the country and public at large would suffer irreparable consequences and untold misery,” the plea said.