The Delhi High Court on Wednesday declined to entertain a petition against the transfer of over Rs 15 crores to the PM CARES fund by the Institute of Charted Accountants of India (ICAI).
A division bench of the high court presided by Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan refused to entertain the petition filed by Naveent Chaudhary and was about the impose costs on the same but the counsel appearing for the petitioner chose to withdraw the same.
While the matter was being heard through video conferencing, the bench questioned the locus standi of the petitioner, who is a journalist and social worker. “What is the basis of your petition when the Charted Accountants and other members of the ICAI are willingly contributing and are happy in doing so?”
The petition claimed that the decision was taken by the ICAI on a request made by the then Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs.
The PM-CARES fund was formed on March 27 this year, three days into the lockdown, and is headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Other ex-officio members of the trust are Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Recently, the Supreme Court said the funds from the PM-CARES Fund need not be transferred to the National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) and individuals can voluntarily contribute to the NDRF. The apex court had dismissed a petition seeking transfer of all funds from PM CARES Fund to NDRF.