PM CARES Fund: No restrictions on use of PM’s name, photo, flag image, emblem, PMO tells HC

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The Prime Minister’s Office told the Bombay High Court on Tuesday that there were no restrictions on the use of the Prime Minister’s name and photograph as well as the image of the national flag and emblem. from the PM CARES Fund. In an affidavit submitted before a divisional bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice MS Karnik, PMO Undersecretary Pradeep Srivastava said the Prime Minister’s photograph, name and national emblem were also used in the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF).

The affidavit was filed in response to a motion filed by Congress worker Vikrant Chavan requesting the removal of the Prime Minister’s name and photograph from the PM CARES Fund. He had also called for the removal of images of the national flag and emblem from the official website of the Prime Minister’s Citizens Assistance and Emergency Relief (PM CARES) Fund.

The plea claimed that the use of the prime minister’s photograph and the image of the national flag and emblem violated the Constitution as well as the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Misuse) Act.

In its affidavit, the PMO said: “I say that the PM CARES Fund and the PMNRF are both chaired by the Prime Minister. As the name, the Prime Minister’s photograph and the national emblem are used for the PMNRF, they are also used for the PM CARES Fund.”

He said that the Flag Code of India, 2002 which collects all laws, conventions, practices and instructions regarding the display of the national flag, provides that there shall be no restriction on its display by the great public, private organizations, educational institutions, etc. , except as provided by the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Misuse) Act.

According to the affidavit, the Prime Minister is the Chairman (ex officio) of the PM CARES Fund and the Minister of Defence, Minister of Interior and Minister of Finance are ex officio directors.

“All directors of the PM CARES Fund act on a voluntary basis. The composition of the board of directors, made up of ex-officio public office holders, is simply for reasons of administrative convenience and smooth succession to the trusteeship,” said stated the PMO affidavit. , and requested that Chavan’a’s motion be denied.

The HC bench released the case on Tuesday for a rehearing after three weeks.

The PM CARES Fund was established on March 27, 2020 as a public charity to extend support and relief in the event of a public health emergency or any other type of emergency or calamity.

Chavan’s plea had stated that the trust did not perform any governmental or sovereign function, nor was it a fund of the Government of India, and the amount collected by it would not go to not to the Consolidated Fund of India.

Stating that it would be inappropriate for the trust to use the Prime Minister’s name or his photograph and the image of the national flag and emblem on its official website, the plea had asked for these to be removed.

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