The Bombay High Court on Monday told the Union government to reply to a petition demanding that the reference to the prime minister and his photograph in PM CARES Fund’s trust deed and official website be removed, Live Law reported.
The petition has been filed by Vikrant Chavan, the Thane district president of the Congress. Chavan also demanded that the national emblem and national flag be removed from the trust deed and website.
The petitioner contended that the use of the images and emblem violates the Constitution and the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, according to Bar and Bench.
The Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund, or the PM CARES FUND, was established in March last year with the stated objective of being a “dedicated national fund” to deal with “any kind of emergency or distress situation” in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.
The division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice MS Karnik on Monday said this was “an important issue”. The court has asked the Centre to file its reply by December 23, and asked the petitioner to file his affidavit by December 30.
The case will be heard again on January 3, 2022.
PM CARES Fund
Prime Minister Modi is the chairperson of the PM CARES Fund trust while senior ministers are its trustees.
The government has said it did not intend to own or finance the fund.
In an affidavit submitted to the Delhi High Court on September 14, the Centre had stated that the PM-CARES fund can neither be listed as “the State” nor a “public authority” under the Right to Information Act.