New Delhi: The Supreme Court, on August 18, said the money collected under the PM CARES Fund for the coronavirus pandemic cannot be transferred to the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF). The apex court added that the money collected by the PM CARES Fund is different and it is of charitable trusts.

While hearing a petition filed against the PM CARES fund by an NGO called Centre for Public Interest Litigation, the court said any contribution or grant can be offered to NDRF and anyone can contribute to this fund as a voluntary contribution.

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The petition sought a direction that all current and future fund collections contributions and grants under the PM CARES Fund for the COVID-19 pandemic should be transferred to the NDRF. The petition added that the PM CARES fund violates the provisions of Disaster Management Act.

A three-judge bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah delivered the verdict today through videoconferencing.

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On March 28, the Central government set up the PM CARES Fund as public charitable trust for dealing with any kind of emergency or distress situation such as that posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.