Bombay HC: No Compulsion Upon the People to Donate to PM Cares Fund

Must Read

Madras High Court Observes Unexplained Delay in Procedural Safeguards, Quashes Detention Through Writ Petition

A Writ Petition was filed under Article 226 to issue a writ of Habeas Corpus. The petitioner P. Lakshmi,...

UK Court of Appeal Rules Home Department’s Deportation Policy of Immigrants Unlawful

Britain’s Court of Appeal quashed the Home Department’s deportation policy, declaring it unlawful; criticizing it for being too stringent...

Supreme Court Stays Order Restraining Physical Campaigns in the Madhya Pradesh Bye-Elections

On the 26th of October, a Bench was set up which comprised Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, and...

Inordinate and Unexplained Delay in Considering Representation by Government Renders Detention Order Illegal: Madras High Court

A Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution was filed in the Madras High Court to declare the detention...

Privy Council Clarifies Approach To Winding up in “Deadlock” Cases in the Case of Chu v. Lau

The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council clarified several aspects of the law concerning just and equitable winding-up petitions,...

Madras High Court Directs Hospital To Submit Necessary Medical Reports to Authorization Committee for Approval of Kidney Transplant

A Writ Petition was filed under Article 226 to issue a Writ of Mandamus to K.G. Hospital, Coimbatore by...

Follow us

A Division Bench of the Bombay High Court consisting of Justice Sunil B. Sukhre and Justice Anil S. Kilor gave judgment in the case of Arvind K. Waghmare v. PM Cares Fund and Others on 27th August, 2020, holding that there is no fault in the constitution of the board of trustees, and since PM Cares Fund is a charitable organization, proper redressal mechanism is provided under Trust Act.

Facts of the Case

The petitioner filed a writ petition before the Bombay High Court against the PM Cares Fund Trust. The petitioner, has prayed for the following reliefs:

  1. The Chairperson of the PM Cares Fund should appoint/nominate three persons of eminence to the board of Trustees of PM Cares Fund, as provided in the charter of the PM Cares Fund.
  2. Since the fund is being set up to tackle public emergencies, there is a need for maintaining transparency, and therefore two members from the opposition parties should be appointed to the trust board.
  3. The decision of appointing M/S SARC Chartered Accountant Associates as auditors of the fund is not valid since the decision was taken without appointing the person of eminence to the board.
  4. There should be a public disclosure of the funds received by the PM Cares Fund.

Petitioner’s Submissions

The petitioner, in person, without questioning the validity/constitutionality of the PM cares fund, submitted that:

  1. Nomination of all the trustees on the Board is essential for the fund to operate equitably and fairly in the interest of welfare of the beneficiaries for whose assistance the fund has been set up.
  2. Since the constitution of the trust board is inadequate without the appointment of the persons of eminence as per the RTI received, the decision taken by the board including the appointment of the auditors is inadequate.
  3. To maintain transparency, there is a need of public disclosure of the funds received by the trust till now. 

Respondent’s Arguments

  1. There is no locus standi of the petitioner as this is more of a Publicity Interest Litigation. The petitioner has a malicious intention and this can be inferred from the fact that he filed a PIL the day after he deposited a cheque in PM Cares Fund.
  2. The question of law on the PM Cares Fund has already been dealt by the Supreme Court in Shashwat Anand and others V/s. Union of India, Manohar Lal Sharma V/s. Narender and others and Center for Public Interest Litigation V/s. Union of India .
  3. Asking induction of members of the opposition parties to the trust is the same as rewriting the whole trust deed, which is not permissible.
  4. The power of the Chairperson to appoint/nominate persons of eminence is only a discretionary power and not a mandatory one.

Court’s Observations

With regards to the power of the Chairperson of the PM Cares Fund to nominate three persons of eminence, it is only an enabling act and not mandatory in nature. It is discretionary in nature and this finds its support in the case of Commissioner of Police, Bombay v. Gordhandas Bhanji.

Another argument of the petitioner in regards to appointing two members from the opposition party to the PM Cares Fund to maintain transparency cannot be sustained. The reason being the Supreme Court in the case of Centre of Public Interest Litigation case clearly held that no exception to the constitution of the PM Cares Fund can be made.  Another reason for not accepting this argument is that the PM Cares Fund is a charitable organization, having its own trust deed, and does not receive any budgetary help from the government. Hence, the court does not have any extraordinary power to ask the trust to amend its deed by any manner.

With regards to the third relief of the petitioner that the decision of the board of trustees to appoint M/S SARC Associates as the Chartered Accountant is not valid as all the three persons of eminence have not been appointed by the Chairperson cannot be sustained. It was already mentioned that the power of nominating a person of eminence by the Chairperson is not mandatory in nature and therefore the decision of providing finance by the fund till now is valid. This also finds its support from the recent judgment of Bombay High Court in the case of Deepak S/O Sampatrao Sane and Others v. PM Cares Fund and others. 

In regards to fourth prayer that there should be public disclosure of the money of PM Cares Fund, the court interpreted that it is more about ensuring that the funds received in the fund are from proper sources. On this the court observed that the fund is properly registered as charitable trust and is properly managed under the trust act. The court observed by taking the reference of Supreme Court’s judgment in Jaipur Shahar Hindu Vikas Samiti v. State of Rajasthan & Ors. That when proper redressal mechanism is provided under the trust act, then there is no case of filing PILs in court for such issue.

Court’s Decision

Rejecting the respondent’s argument that the petitioner had no locus standi and that the prayers pleaded in the present case have already been settled in the previous judgments of the apex court, the court dismissed the petition by stating that no person is forced to contribute to the PM Cares Fund.


Libertatem.in is now on Telegram. Follow us for regular legal updates and judgments from the court. Follow us on Google News, InstagramLinkedInFacebook & Twitter. You can also subscribe to our Weekly Email Updates. You can also contribute stories like this and help us spread awareness for a better society. Submit Your Post Now.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest News

Madras High Court Observes Unexplained Delay in Procedural Safeguards, Quashes Detention Through Writ Petition

A Writ Petition was filed under Article 226 to issue a writ of Habeas Corpus. The petitioner P. Lakshmi, called for records of the...

UK Court of Appeal Rules Home Department’s Deportation Policy of Immigrants Unlawful

Britain’s Court of Appeal quashed the Home Department’s deportation policy, declaring it unlawful; criticizing it for being too stringent on immigrants to comply with. Background The...

Supreme Court Stays Order Restraining Physical Campaigns in the Madhya Pradesh Bye-Elections

On the 26th of October, a Bench was set up which comprised Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, and Justice Sanjiv Khanna. They heard...

Inordinate and Unexplained Delay in Considering Representation by Government Renders Detention Order Illegal: Madras High Court

A Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution was filed in the Madras High Court to declare the detention order of the husband of...

Privy Council Clarifies Approach To Winding up in “Deadlock” Cases in the Case of Chu v. Lau

The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council clarified several aspects of the law concerning just and equitable winding-up petitions, as well as shareholder disputes...

Madras High Court Directs Hospital To Submit Necessary Medical Reports to Authorization Committee for Approval of Kidney Transplant

A Writ Petition was filed under Article 226 to issue a Writ of Mandamus to K.G. Hospital, Coimbatore by P. Sankar & V. Sobana....

Punjab Woman Evokes Petition for Protection Fearing Honour Killing

In the case of Divya Mattu and another vs State of Punjab and others, the petitioner, Divya, fearing honour killing against her by her...

Punjab Woman Accuses Punjab Police of Keeping Husband in Illegal Custody and Framing Him in a False Case

In the case of Geeta v the State of Punjab, the petitioner evoked a writ petition of habeas corpus as she claimed that her...

Addition of Words as Prefixes or Suffixes Is an Infringement of a Registered Trademark: Delhi High Court

Justice Jayanth Nath allowed the Times Group to use its registered trademark “Newshour”, in the case of Bennett Coleman and Co. Ltd v. ARG Outlier...

Just Because the Deceased Did Not Have License, Does Not Imply He Was Negligent: Chhattisgarh High Court

In the case of Hemlal & Others v. Dayaram & Others, a Single Bench of Chhattisgarh High Court consisting of Justice Sanjay S. Agrawal annunciated various...

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -