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Delhi HC Allows SG To File Reply In Plea Challenging The Denial of Information on PM CARES Fund Under The RTI Act

Karan Tripathi
10 Jun 2020 12:25 PM GMT
Delhi HC Allows SG To File Reply In Plea Challenging The Denial of Information on PM CARES Fund Under The RTI Act
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Delhi High Court has allowed Solicitor General to file Centre's reply in a plea challenging the decision of the Central Public Information Officer, Prime Minister's Office wherein the RTI application seeking documents related to the PM CARES Fund was denied.

The Single Bench of Justice Navin Chawla has asked Solicitor General to file reply on the Petition.

Petitioner sought reply from the CPIO of Prime Minister's Office who had denied to provide information on PM CARES Fund by citing that the said Fund is not a 'Public Authority' as defined in the Right to Information Act, 2005.

Filed by Mr Samyak Gangwal, the petition challenges the decision dated 02/06/20 of the CPIO wherein the information sought by the Petitioner was rejected on the ground that PM CARES is not a public authority under section 2(h) of the RTI Act.

By an RTI Application dated 01/05/20, the Petitioner had sought the following information from the said CPIO:

  1. A copy of the trust deed of the PM CARES Fund
  2. A copy of document/letter/office memo under which the said Fund was constituted
  3. A copy of the entire file where decision to constitute PM CARES Fund was undertaken

The Petitioner's primary argument is that the PM CARES Fund should be seen as public authority under section 2(h) of the RTI Act because:

  1. It is constituted/established by the order of an appropriate government as it was created by the Press Release of PMO
  2. It receives various benefits under the Income Tax Act and the Companies Act
  3. PN CARES is a body owned or controlled by the government as its trustees include the PM, Finance Minister, Defence Minister and the Home Minister

The court has asked the PMO as well as the CPIO of PMO to file replies on the averments raised in the present petition.

The matter will next be taken up on August 28.

The Petitioner in the present case was represented by Advocates Debopriyo Moulik and Ayush Shrivastava.

Click Here To Download Order

[Read Order]

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