Question on the genuineness of the petition declaring PM Cares Fund as 'public authority'

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) raised questions in the Delhi High Court on Wednesday on the validity of a petition seeking to declare the PM Cares Fund 'public authority' under the RTI Act.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the PMO to Justice Naveen Chawla during the hearing conducted through the video conference, said that he would file an answer explaining why the petition should not be considered.

The High Court listed the matter for hearing by 28 August. The High Court was hearing a petition by Samyak Gangwal challenging a June 2 order of the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), The petition said that the Prime Minister's Office refused to provide documents to him on the basis that PM Cares Fund was not a public authority under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

The petition has requested to dismiss the CPIO order and give instructions to provide the documents sought by them in the RBI application.

The petition, filed by advocates Debpriyo Maulik and Ayush Srivastava, said that as part of a step taken to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, the PMO has sent a press release on March 28 through the Prime Minister's Civil Assistance and Emergency Relief Fund (PM Cares Fund) Was announced.

The PMO in a press release appealed to citizens to donate to the PM Cares Fund in view of the severe health and economic impacts of the Covid-19 epidemic.

The petition states that on May 1, the petitioner filed an RTI application and asked for a copy of the PM Trusts 'trust document', a document or letter related to the fund and a copy of the entire file to constitute the fund.