News UpdatesContributions Made To The Fund Are Voluntary, No Compulsion For Anyone To Donate; Bombay HC Dismisses Advocate’s PIL Seeking Public Declaration Of PM Cares Fund [Read Judgment] Nitish Kashyap27 Aug 2020 5:15 AMShare This – xThe Bombay High Court on Thursday dismissed a public interest litigation filed by Advocate Arvind Waghmare seeking public declaration of money received for PM Care’s Fund observing that the contributions made to the said Fund are voluntary in nature and there is no compulsion on anyone to donate. Division bench of Justice SB Shukre and Justice AS Kilor of the Nagpur bench noted that if…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Bombay High Court on Thursday dismissed a public interest litigation filed by Advocate Arvind Waghmare seeking public declaration of money received for PM Care’s Fund observing that the contributions made to the said Fund are voluntary in nature and there is no compulsion on anyone to donate. Division bench of Justice SB Shukre and Justice AS Kilor of the Nagpur bench noted that if any person has any doubt about the application of the money, he/she intends to donate to the said fund, they may be reminded of the words of Falstaff, a cowardly character in William Shakespeare’s play Henry IV, “The better part of Valour is Discretion; in the which better part, I have saved my life”. Referring to the above lines, Court said- “Here “life” can be taken to be “money”. So, such a person would well be within his right to not donate his money to the fund. From this perspective also no insistence can be made by a person donating his money in his discretion upon making public disclosures of utilization of the fund money on a public platform bypassing the proper platform provided under the Trust Act applicable to a charitable trust like the “PM CARES Fund”.” The petitioner made it clear in the petition that he does not challenge and dispute the creation of the PM CARES Fund on any ground, constitutional or otherwise but, he is only concerned about what he considers to be the ‘presence of an element of seclusion in the fund in its functional and operational dynamics.’ Moreover, Adv Waghmare, who appeared in person, submitted that as a citizen of India as well as a small donor to the PM CARES Fund, he has every right to know exact position of the account of the fund and as to why all the trustees on the Board of Trustees as per the scheme of the fund have not been nominated by the Chairperson of the fund. Waghmare contended that 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. Moreover, the members to be appointed on the Board of Trustees must also include two persons of eminence belonging to opposite political parties, which provision, not expressly made in the scheme of the fund, needs to be incorporated, the petitioner submitted. Whereas, ASG Anil Singh appeared on behalf of PM Cares Fund and Union of India. He submitted that as few more petitions involving more or less similar issues were pending adjudication before the Supreme Court and he sought to incorporate in the reply, the decisions of the Apex Court, one of which came recently in Center for Public Interest Litigation V/s. Union of India, decided on August 18, 2020. Moreover, ASG Singh told the Court that copies of all the decisions which, in his opinion, would render assistance to this Court, have already been filed on record by him. These decisions are in the following cases- Shashwat Anand and others V/s. Union of India and others, Manohar Lal Sharma V/s. Narender and others and Center for Public Interest Litigation V/s. Union of India. To this, the bench said- “Considering the fact that copies of the orders and judgments rendered by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India now have been filed on record and also that learned A.S.G.I. through his oral submissions made elaborately has adequately assisted us, we no longer experience any handicap in finally deciding the petition on merits, even without formal reply filed on behalf of the Union of India.” Calling it a publicity interest litigation with underlying political agenda, ASG Singh urged that the said PIL is not maintainable. Improper intention of the petitioner can be gauged from the fact that just in order to make a show of the petitioner having locus standi in the matter, the petitioner paid donation of Rs.1,001 by cheque dated May 8 and immediately on the next day of May 9, 2020 the petitioner filed this public interest litigation petition, Singh told the Court. According to him, the petitioner has no locus standi for the reason that he is a donor to the fund and not the beneficiary of the fund and that it is the beneficiary of the fund who could be said to be a person aggrieved if any action or inaction on the part of the Trustees is considered by him as against law, object of the Trust or welfare of the beneficiaries. In response to questions raised about the intent of the petitioner and his locus standi raised by ASG Singh, the bench said- “We are, however, of the view that it is not necessary for us to go into these aspects of the matter for two reasons. Firstly, there is hardly any material placed on record to discern the improper intention on the part of the petitioner in person and though the petition has been filed just on the next day of the petitioner remitting the donation of Rs.1,001/- through cheque, this fact by itself would not be sufficient to attribute any ill-motive to the petitioner. Secondly, this petition raises such questions as would deserve their consideration and resolution more on merits of the matter rather than on some preliminaries relating to the standing and intention of the petitioner in person.” Thereafter, Court examined the four distinct reliefs claimed by the petitioner- i Issue appropriate directions to the respondents to immediately appoint-nominate other three trustees for the “PM CARES FUND” ii. Further appropriate directions be issued to the respondents to appoint-nominate at least two trustees (Out of 3) from the opposition parties from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha iii. By appropriate order and or directions quash and set aside/cancel the unilateral decision taken by the respondent no.1 to 5 (without there being full Board of Trustees) to appoint M/s SARC Associates, Chartered Accountants, New Delhi as auditor for PM Cares Fund iv. Further issue appropriate directions to immediately make public the entire funds received as on date, whether domestically or from overseas i.e from NRI’s and foreign nationals on the official websites of the “PM Cares Fund” After perusing through the judgments of the Supreme Court, the bench noted- “We find that even though the power has been conferred upon the Hon’ble Chairperson to nominate three trustees, the power is of enabling nature only making it possible for the Authority to nominate three trustees to the Board, and that there is no further mandate that the power must also be exercised in order to fully constitute the Board of Trustees. No other provision has been brought to our notice by the petitioner in person to show that without the presence of three nominated eminent persons on the Board, the Board of Trustees would be incomplete or non-functional.” Therefore, the first relief was rejected and referring to the apex court’s judgment in Center for Public Interest Litigation V/s. Union of India, the bench noted- “It is clear that PM CARE Fund is a charitable trust registered under the Registration Act, 1908 and that it does not receive any budgetary support or any government money. If there is no provision made in the Trust Deed for inducting some members of the opposition political parties into Board of Trustees by nomination, and there is also no such requirement of law, which is the case here without any dispute, there is no way that an outsider like the petitioner in person would knock at the doors of this Court to invoke the extraordinary jurisdiction of this Court to seek the direction to the trust to amend its Trust Deed. The direction sought in the second prayer clause is really a command for amending the Trust Deed which cannot be initiated at the behest of a person stranger to the Trust like the petitioner in person in a public interest litigation, much less by invoking extraordinary writ jurisdiction of this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution.” Finally, addressing the relief sought for public declaration of funds received, Court said- “In this petition, the question involved is really not about the nondisclosure of receipts and disbursements but it is about ensuring that the receipts into the fund are from proper sources and the outgoings from the fund are consistent with the objects of the fund for which purpose public disclosure is essential. In other words, the real question is- why the public disclosure rather than why not the public disclosure? There can be no two opinions about the underlying object of public disclosure. It is to ensure proper utilization of the fund money sourced from proper persons.” Thus, dismissing the PIL and rejecting all reliefs, Court warned against misuse of PILs and casually entertaining such litigation.Click Here To Download Judgment[Read Judgment]Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Story
Can learning change lives?On 1 Feb 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Many major developments projects are under way to receive a major push. But are we expecting too much? Elaine Essery gathers the opinions of majorplayersThis year sees a number of further developments in the learning and skillsarena: the creation of Sector Skills Councils, the national roll-out ofJobCentre Plus, the advancement of the Government’s Workforce Developmentproject and the introduction of the Entry to Employment initiative. Last December learning providers and policy makers attended Changing LivesThrough Learning, a conference organised by the Centre for Economic and SocialInclusion, to survey recent and forthcoming reforms and discuss theirimplications. Training Magazine contacted some of the speakers to ask them: Inwhat ways can learning change lives? And should the impetus come fromGovernment, the employer or the individual? Peter Little OBEChief executive, Birmingham RathboneLearning absolutely can and should change lives and I’m very enthusiasticabout the potential of current reforms to learning and skills. Entry toEmployment could make a tremendous difference to people who have learningdifficulties, but it’s all down to the implementation. It’s essential we getthe right structures, funding and support mechanisms in place. It needs to beflexible enough to meet individual needs and, in order for the learning to workso that people can get employment skills, the period of entitlement must belong enough. I’d be concerned if the idea was to get a quick throughput ofpeople and we must make sure it doesn’t happen that way. Ian PalmerJobCentre Plus, secretariatJobCentre Plus will be bringing into the system a much wider range ofclients and we’re hoping to create many more opportunities for individuals toimprove their skills. Our advisers will assess the prospect each person has ofgetting back into work and identify what barriers exist. Our relationship withproviders will be about reviewing the training that is available to make surethe needs of this new group of people are being met. The key is to be able todevelop individuals so that they have the skill sets that employers are lookingfor, to bridge the gap between the vast pool of labour we have access to andthe skills shortages that exist. Andy WestwoodSenior policy advisor, The Industrial SocietyIf we really want to change lives through learning, we’ve also got to changethe way jobs are constructed. We have got to raise the skills people have atintermediate level and to raise the number of jobs where people can use thoseskills. Raising one without the other would create as many problems as we haveanyway – if you raise the quality of jobs on offer then we’ll have a problemwith skills shortages; if you raise skills, you’ll have people’s expectationsdashed as they go into jobs that don’t need them. Employers have to get theirheads around using higher skill strategies. It’s at least as much a challengefor employers as it is for individuals. Sarah FitzpatrickWorkforce Development Team, Performance and Innovation UnitWe consider it very important that those who don’t currently receive theopportunity for work-based development do so. Our role is to look at how toraise demand. A range of ideas and principles to get demand from individualsand among employers is set out in our report. Placing more purchasing power inthe hands of individuals and employers can be very powerful in raising demand,as well as changing the system so it is not supply-side driven. Governmentpriority for spending is on basic skills, but we want employers to takeresponsibility where their responsibility lies. We need to encourage employersto think about the skills they can develop in their workers that will help themsucceed in their business. If interventions come from that side they’re morelikely to be effective. Joan MunroHead of local Government NTOSector Skills Councils can offer a new direction for skills development bybeing higher profile organisations than most NTOs have managed to be. The ideais that they’re the voice for employers and ultimately employers need to driveeducation much more than they do at the moment. But it’s easy to say educationshould be employer led – you need an effective mechanism for knowing whatemployers want. At present, a lot of courses are out of date or don’t leadanywhere and people doing them are misled in thinking they’re going to leadthem to employment. Employers need to tell learning providers exactly what itis they need. That’s the challenge for Sector Skills Councils. Paul ConveryDirector, Centre for Economic and Social InclusionThere’s a fuzzy line somewhere around NVQ level 2, tending towards level 3.Those below that level earn less and have a worse work-life balance. The issueis how to help people climb a number of steps from the bottom of a deep pool sothat they can come up and breathe air. The Government has to be the agent thatdoes most, but employers have to see skills as an investment and something goodfor business. It’s a fallacy that you have to take people a long, long way – forexample, those with poor literacy and numeracy skills can have very good keyskills. We have to look at ways in which firms can raise their sights.