May 11, 2021 2:44:42 am
THE DELHI High Court on Monday pulled up the Centre for its policy of not accepting small donations abroad and told it that it should “gracefully” accept any donation being given by anybody. It asked the government counsel to seek instructions in this regard.
“Otherwise it conveys the impression that you don’t care about small aid which should never be. Even one rupee given to you… with a sense of gratitude,” said the division bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli.
The court said Indians living outside may be donating oxygen concentrators and cylinders. “Whatever is being given, you accumulate it. When you think the package is big enough, you transport. Why should it be ‘One concentrator? We don’t need it. Thank you’. That cannot be the approach,” it added.
Advocate Amit Mahajan, representing the Centre, told the court that the state has to put in “lot of resources” to get the aid which may be too small and it may not be feasible. He said he has flagged the issue with the officers and the policy could be reviewed.
The court also said the Centre has to reciprocate the spirit in which the aid is given and also honour the donor. “By rejecting his donation, you are dishonouring him while saying it is so little,” it said. “We know where it is coming from. It is the attitude that ‘you want to give an aid? you want to give an aid of one concentrator?’”
Senior Advocate Rajshekhar Rao, amicus curiae, earlier told the court that any aid should be processed but unless a government is willing to commit to a certain number, the embassies are not accepting the aid. “Even if it one oxygen concentrator, it should be brought in,” submitted Rao, adding there are bottlenecks in accepting donations by NGOs also.
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