As the Congress party attacked the PM-CARES fund of the Central government, an advocate named Praveen has filed an FIR against the party's interim chief, Sonia Gandhi. The FIR identifies her as the handler of the social media account. The FIR has been registered under IPC section 153 (Wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), section 505 (Statements conducing to public mischief), in Shivamogga district of Karnataka.
The complainant alleges that the Congress party via its Twitter handle on May 11 made false and baseless allegations, and defames the Prime Minister. Speaking about his FIR, the lawyer said: "Congress Twitter handle has tweeted ill about PM CARES fund on May 11 for which an FIR has been lodged against the Congress president Sonia Gandhi as it had hurt the sentiments of the people of India and damaged the name of the PM."
The Congress has repeatedly questioned the government over setting up of a separate PM-CARES Fund by PM Modi and has demanded that it should be merged with the PM National Relief Fund. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had demanded an audit of PM CARES fund and had said the account of money received and spent must be made public.
Called the Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund, this charitable trust was set up by the Centre on March 28. While PM Modi is the Chairman of this trust, the Defence Minister, Home Minister and Finance Minister are the other members. All citizens including individuals, corporates and organizations can contribute to this fund to augment the relief efforts in the wake of the novel coronavirus crisis.
The donation to PM CARES fund is exempted from Income Tax under Section 80(G). Moreover, PM Modi specified that the fund would not only cater to similar situations in the future but would also help strengthen disaster management capacity. One can donate via bank transfer, UPI, Debit and Credit Cards and internet banking. As per a report, PM CARES Fund reportedly received more than Rs.6,500 crore barely a week after the announcement of the Fund.
On Wednesday last week, the PM CARES Fund Trust decided to allocate Rs.3100 crore for the fight against the novel coronavirus. While Rs.2000 crore shall be earmarked for the purchase of ventilators, Rs.1000 crore will be used for the care of migrants. Additionally, Rs.100 crore will be dedicated towards the development of the COVID-19 vaccine.