News UpdatesAPTEL Permits Party To Deposit Cost To NDRF After It Is Contended That PM Cares Is Not A Govt Fund [Read Order] Akshita Saxena16 Oct 2020 6:10 AMShare This – xThe Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) on Monday allowed an application seeking modification of an order dated September 17, 2020, vide which the All India Power Engineers’ Federation was directed to deposit a cost of Rs. 50,000/- to PM CARES Fund. The Bench of Justice Manjula Chellur (Chairperson) and Mr. SD Dubey (Technical Member) allowed the Federation to deposit the…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL) on Monday allowed an application seeking modification of an order dated September 17, 2020, vide which the All India Power Engineers’ Federation was directed to deposit a cost of Rs. 50,000/- to PM CARES Fund. The Bench of Justice Manjula Chellur (Chairperson) and Mr. SD Dubey (Technical Member) allowed the Federation to deposit the said amount to the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF), instead of PM CARES Fund. The direction was passed in an application for modification filed by the Federation. During hearing, Advocate Prashant Bhushan brought to the notice of the Tribunal that PM CARES Fund is not a government fund. He emphasized that the PM Cares Fund is neither susceptible to a CAG audit not is it under the ambit of the Right to Information Act; whereas, NDRF is a “statutory fund” to fight against Covid-19. “The Central Government hasn’t been transparent in operating the PM CARES Fund. lt is essentially for these reasons that the members of the Applicant organisation have principled objection and genuine reluctance against making any contribution to PM CARES Fund,” the Federation had submitted. Accordingly, the application was allowed with a direction to deposit the cost to NDRF, within two weeks. Background The PM CARES Fund was created on 28 March 2020, “with the primary objective of dealing with any kind of emergency or distress situation, like posed by the COVID-19 pandemic”. Prime Minister is the ex-officio Chairman of the PM CARES Fund and the Minister of Defence, Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Finance, Government of India are ex-officio Trustees of the Fund. In May, the Prime Minister’s Office had refused to divulge information related to PM CARES Fund by stating that it was not a ‘public authority’. In August, the Supreme Court had turned down a plea to transfer the funds from PM CARES To the National Disaster Response Fund. The top court further observed that PM CARES was a trust for which CAG audit was not necessary. A review application against this order is now pending before the Top Court. The High Court of Bombay had also dismissed a plea seeking public declaration of money received for PM Care’s Fund, while observing that the contributions made to the said Fund are voluntary in nature and there is no compulsion on anyone to donate. It is also significant to note that earlier, NDRF only consisted of fund in the form of “budgetary provisions” made by the Central Government. There was no mechanism in place by way of which a person or an institution could have made contributions/grants to NDRF. However, vide Office Memorandum dated June 19, 2020, the Department of Expenditure allowed individuals/institutions to contribute to the NDRF through physical instruments, RTGS/NEFT/UPI or Bharatkosh portal. Click Here To Download Order Read Order Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Story
"APTEL Permits Party To Deposit Cost To NDRF After It Is Contended That PM Cares Is Not A Govt Fund [Read Order]"