New Delhi: The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has rejected a Right to Information (RTI) application that sought details of PM CARES Fund. The fund is not a public authority under the RTI Act, the PMO responded.
The RTI application was filed by Harsha Kandukuri, a law student at Azim Premji University in Bengaluru, asking for details such as trust deed, notifications and government orders.
The PMO responded by saying that the information cannot be revealed under the provisions of Section 2(h) of the Right to Information Act, 2005, and added that relevant information with respect to PM CARES Fund may be seen on the website pmcares.gov.in.
Copies of the trust deed, and the government orders and notifications are not uploaded in the official website, according to reports.
The applicant has reportedly planned to appeal further. “The name, composition of the trust, control, usage of emblem, government domain name, everything signifies that it is a public authority. The composition of the trust is enough to show that government exercises substantive control over the trust, making it a public authority,” Kandukuria told The Hindu.
Under the RTI Act, a public authority is an organisation established (a) under or by the Constitution, (b) by any other law made by the parliament, (c) by a notification or order issued by the government or (d) by notification issued or order made by the appropriate government. The definition also covers organisations financed substantially by the government and non-governmental organisations.
The central government had said in April that the fund will not be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.