Bombay HC asks Centre to file affidavit on plea for deletion of PM's name and pic from PM Cares Fund
The Bombay High Court has directed the Centre to file an affidavit by December 23 on a plea seeking deletion of the Prime Minister's name and photograph from the PM CARES trust fund
Noting that it was an important issue, the Bombay High Court on Monday directed the Centre to file an affidavit by December 23 on a plea seeking deletion of the Prime Minister's name and photograph from the PM CARES trust fund.
The petition filed by Congress party member Vikrant Chavan also sought deletion of images of the national flag and the Emblem of India from the official website of the Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM CARES) trust fund.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice M S Karnik said the Union government has not filed an affidavit till now.
"This is also an important issue. File your affidavit," Chief Justice Datta told Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, who was appearing for the Central government.
The bench directed the government to file the affidavit by December 23 and posted the matter for further hearing on January 3, 2022.
The plea stated that using the Prime Minister's photograph and the image of the national flag and the Emblem of India was in violation of the provisions of the Constitution and The Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act.
The trust was set up on March 27, 2020, as a public charitable trust to extend support and relief for a public health emergency or any other kind of emergency or calamity.
The trust fund claims to consist of voluntary contributions made by individuals/organisations and does not get any budgetary support from the government.
Besides, the contributions made to the trust fund would qualify for a 100 per cent exemption under the Income Tax Act.
The trust does not discharge any governmental or sovereign functions. It is an admitted position that the trust is not a Government of India fund and the amount collected by it does not go to the Consolidated Fund of India," the plea said.
Stating that it would be improper for the trust to use the name of Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) or his photograph and the image of the national flag and the Emblem of India on its official website, the plea has sought deletion of the same.