On Tuesday, Bombay High Court issued notices to the Union Of India and the trustees of the PM- CARES fund while addressing the PIL by a Nagpur- based lawyer Arvind Waghmare.
The PIL amongst many others prays to rectify the transparency issue that many have addressed in the two months of its existence only to be shut down.
What makes Waghmare stand out? He approached the court with a different strategy than his predecessors.
With this plea
- He prays to the government to regularly publish the amount collected on the PM CARES website.
- To enhance the Fund’s transparency and increase the confidence people have in this trust he demanded the appointment of leaders from the opposition party in its Board of Trustees.
- Furthermore, he prays for the fund to be audited by the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) instead of an independent auditor to be nominated by its Trustees.
Countering, the Additional Solicitor General stated that the PIL should be dismissed as the one before it was by the Supreme Court. Anticipating such a response Waghmare responded that unlike the ones before him, through this petition he was seeking a different kind of relief which does not violate RTI 2005.
In conclusion, the fund was created to fight the battle of COVID-19 which has rendered thousands helpless. When people are coming out to support such programmes by funding it themselves, transparency should not be an issue. The government should be advertising its functioning as aggressively as the fund was marketed initially.