According to an affidavit filed by an Under Secretary in the Prime Minister's Office, neither the Central Government nor any State Government/s has any direct or indirect influence over the Trust's operations in any way.
According to the Centre's arguments, the PM-CARES Fund is not a "public authority" within the meaning of Section 2(h) of the RTI Act, and only unconditional and voluntary contributions are accepted by the PM-CARES Fund.
The Centre also claimed that the PM-CARES Fund is made up of voluntary donations from individuals and institutions and is not in any way related to the Central Government's business or functions; it is also not a part of any Central Government Scheme or business, and as a public trust, it is not subject to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).
Due to a lack of time, the High Court delayed the PIL on Wednesday. Samyak Gangwal, the petitioner, is seeking clarification on the legal status of the PM-CARES Fund, including whether it falls under the category of "State" under Article 12 of the Indian Constitution, as well as periodic auditing of the PM-CARES website and disclosure of the details of donations received to ensure transparency and accountability. The case was assigned to Chief Justice D.N Patel and Justice Amit Bansal's Division-Bench-I.
The case has been rescheduled for a hearing on September 27.