The Supreme Court will hear on Friday a plea by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) for implementation of a “National Plan” to combat the crisis created by the Covid-19 Pandemic.
The matter is coming up before a Bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul and MR Shah. The application has been filed through advocate Prashant Bhushan that the National Executive Committee is responsible to prepare and monitor implementation of such a plan under Section 10(2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
It pointed out that “under Section 11(2), a national plan is mandatory to be prepared by the National Executive Committee with regard to the National Policy and in consultation with the state governments and expert bodies or organisations in disaster management to approved by the national authority."
The CPIL says Covid-19 has become a "humanitarian crisis" in India from being a medical health emergency, due to the arbitrary and ad hoc decisions of the Centre. It points out a whopping 865 major notifications dealing with Covid-19 have been passed by the Centre till July 13, 2020, without planning, strategy, consultation or transparency.
On the government's stand mere existence of a statutory National Disaster Relief Fund (NDRF) under Section 46 of the Disaster Management Act does not prohibit creation of a different fund like PM CARES Fund for receiving voluntary donations, the NGO asserted that the PM CARES Fund has been created as a trust "without any authority of law."