NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to direct the Centre to transfer the contributions made to the PM CARES Fund for battling the Covid-19 pandemic to the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).
A bench headed by justice Ashok Bhushan said that voluntary contribution can always be made to the NDRF as there is no statutory bar under the Disaster Management Act.
The judgement came on a PIL, filed by NGO ‘Centre for Public Interest Litigation, seeking a direction that all the money collected under the PM CARES Fund for the Covid-19 pandemic should be transferred to the NDRF.
The SC order, however, led to a war of words between the Congress and the BJP.
The Congress said the Supreme Court’s judgement on the PM CARES Fund is a “body blow to transparency and accountability” of the government to the people.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the apex court let go an opportunity to bring in transparency in the fund which has “its own opaque and murky rules” and, thereby, deviated from the belief that “sunlight is the best disinfectant”.
Slamming the Congress for its “attempt to wash sins”, BJP president JP Nadda described the Supreme Court decision on the PM CARES Fund as a “resounding blow to the nefarious designs” of Rahul Gandhi and his “band of rent a cause” activists.
“The country very well knows that the orchestrated smear campaign against PM CARES is an attempt by the Congress to wash its sins,” he said.
Coming down heavily on Gandhi, the BJP chief said his “rants” have been repeatedly dismissed by the common man who has “overwhelmingly” contributed to the PM CARES Fund.
The BJP president alleged that the Gandhi family treated Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) as its “personal fiefdom for decades and brazenly transferred citizens’ hard-earned money from PMNRF to its family trusts”.
Rubbishing the Congress’ criticism on the issue, another BJP leader and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told a press conference that “transparency is writ large in the PM CARES Fund”.
Rahul Gandhi had on Monday tweeted “PM CARES for Right To Improbity” while tagging a news report which alleged that the Prime Minister’s Office had denied anI application seeking information on the Fund.


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