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PLEA TO BRING PM CARES FUND UNDER RTI

Focus: GS-II Governance, Indian Polity

Why in news?

A public interest litigation (PIL) petition has been moved before the Delhi High Court seeking greater transparency in the PM CARES Fund by bringing it under the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

There were recent newspapers reports of the PM CARES Fund refusing to divulge information sought under the RTI Act by claiming that the fund is not a ‘public authority’ within the ambit of Section 2(h) of the RTI Act, 2005. Click Here to read more about the RTI refusal (1st Article)

The PM CARES Fund was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March 2020 and he urged all Indians to donate to the fund to help the country fight COVID-19. After two months, the total corpus of the fund stands at approximately ₹10,000 crore.

Right to Information (RTI) Act

  • Right to Information (RTI) is an act of the Parliament of India which sets out the rules and procedures regarding citizens’ right to information.
  • Under the RTI Act, 2005, Public Authorities are required to make disclosures on various aspects of their structure and functioning.

This includes:

  1. disclosure on their organisation, functions, and structure,
  2. powers and duties of its officers and employees, and
  3. financial information.
  • The intent of such suo moto disclosures is that the public should need minimum recourse through the Act to obtain such information.
  • If such information is not made available, citizens have the right to request for it from the Authorities.
  • This may include information in the form of documents, files, or electronic records under the control of the Public Authority.
  • The intent behind the enactment of the Act is to promote transparency and accountability in the working of Public Authorities. 

-Source: The Hindu

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September 2022
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