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The Centre has informed the Delhi High Court that the PM Cares Fund is not a government fund as the amount collected by it does not go to the Consolidated Fund of India, India Legal Live has reported.

An affidavit filed by an Under-Secretary at the Prime Minister's Office stated there is no control of either the Central Government or any State Government/s, either direct or indirect, in the functioning of the Trust in any manner whatsoever.

The Centre further submitted that the PM-CARES Fund comprises of voluntary donations made by individuals and institutions and is not a part of business or function of the Central Government in any manner, furthermore, it is not a part of any Government Scheme or business of the Central Government and being a public trust, it is also not subject to the audit of Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), the report said.

According to the submissions made by the Centre, PM-CARES Fund is not a "public authority" under the ambit of Section 2(h) of the RTI Act, further clarifying no Government money is credited in the PM-CARES Fund and only unconditional and voluntary contributions are accepted under PM-CARES Fund.

On Wednesday, the High Court adjourned the PIL due to paucity of time. Petitioner Samyak Gangwal has sought clarity on the legal status of the PM-CARES Fund, including whether it falls within the category of "State" under Article 12 of the Constitution of India and periodic auditing of PM-CARES website and disclosure of the details of donations received by it, to ensure transparency and accountability. The matter was listed in Division-Bench-I of Chief Justice D.N Patel and Justice Amit Bansal.

The matter is listed for further hearing on September 27.
 

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