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Private Corporations expected to use CSR funds for COVID-19 relief: Bombay HC (Nagpur Bench)

The Bombay High Court Nagpur Bench voiced displeasure with the lack of response of private corporations in the Vidarbha district to its petition to use CSR funds for COVID-19 relief.

The Bench of Justices SB Shukre and AG Gharote demanded specific reports on the existence of CSR funds to assist COVID-19 disaster relief.

The Court stated that the effort was made to develop a robust system in the Vidarbha Region, particularly in light of the Covid -19 pandemic. As a result, it stated that it required investments to the good purpose not only from the State Government, but also from public and private sector businesses.

In the given conditions, the Court noted, the corporations had a fair opportunity to execute their contractual responsibility under Section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013.

The Court ordered the Divisional Commissioners of Nagpur and Amravati to gather details on the availability of CSR funds for all firms working in their respective divisions. 

The court stated that before making such demands, the Commissioners could consult with the Joint Director of the District Industries Centre to verify the authenticity they obtain from the firms.

The above regulations were authorized during the trial of a suo motu Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on COVID-19 management issues in Nagpur and neighboring districts.

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