Covid-19: SC issues notice to Centre on plea to transfer PM CARES to National Disaster Relief Fund

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the Centre in a public interest litigation seeking transfer of all funds from the PM CARES Fund to the National Disaster Relief Fund to help the fight against the novel coronavirus, Live Law reported. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul and MR Shah asked the Centre to reply with an affidavit within four weeks.

PM CARES – an acronym for Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations – is a fund set up by the Centre with the stated objective of being a “dedicated national fund” to deal with “any kind of emergency or distress situation”. The fund was announced by Modi last month in the wake of the ongoing crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan filed the plea on behalf of the Centre for Public Interest Litigation. It sought that the Centre be directed to use the National Disaster Relief Fund to provide assistance in fighting the pandemic, under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. For this purpose, the funds in PM CARES should be transferred to the National Disaster Relief Fund, the petitioner argued.

The plea also asked for the setting up of a National Plan under Section 11, read with Section 10, of the…

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