The Centre on Saturday sought dismissal of a review petition seeking information about funds received by the Prime Ministers Citizens Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situation (PM CARES) Fund.
The Union government told the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court that audit statement of receipt and payment accounts of the PM CARES Fund for 2019-20 was available on the trust’s website.
An affidavit was filed by Pradeep Srivastava, Under Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, before a divisionbench of Justices Sunil Shukre and Anil Kilor in response to apetition filed by advocate Arvind Waghmare.
Waghmare has sought a review of the High CourtsAugust 2020 order dismissing his plea for declaration of thefunds received by PM CARES, a charitable trust set up by theUnion government amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In August, 2020, the High Court, however, dismissedthe petition saying since the Public Charitable Trust Act wasapplicable to the PM CARES Fund, the petitioner was free toresort to the mechanism provided under the Act for redressalof his grievance of public disclosure of funds.
Later, in December, 2020, Waghmare filed a reviewpetition before the High Court, claiming that the PublicCharitable Trusts Act was not applicable in Delhi and soughtthe court to direct the government to disclose details of thefunds received and expenditure done.
The Centre, in its affidavit, stated that the reviewpetition was completely “misconceived and is nothing butanother attempt at seeking publicity”.
It added that no new grounds have been raised in thereview petition.
“Audit statement of receipt and payment accounts of PMCARES Fund for the financial year 2019-20 is available on thewebsite of the Trust. As such, the petitioner cannot be saidto have any grievances about disclosure of income andexpenditure of the funds,” the affidavit said.
It further stated that the High Court has alreadydismissed Waghmares petition in the past and should nowdismiss his review petition with exemplary cost.
The High Court on Saturday heard arguments of allparties and reserved its order on the review plea.
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