Saturday 10 July 2021 8:29 AM UTC
KOCHI July 10: The Kerala High Court on Friday expressed concern in the manner in which crowdfunding is taking place in the state and expressed its displeasure against YouTubers who are raising charity money by giving their account numbers. The court asked the Kerala government to spell out if they had any policy with regards to crowdfunding, and said that ‘if they do not have, they should even consider floating one’.
The court made this remark after a parent from Malappurram district approached the court to seek its intervention so that his child suffering from a very rare disease gets government treatment.
“There are different people, including YouTubers, raising funds. They are collecting money for treatment. Where is the money going? Where is it coming from? Who collected it? What is the remaining balance? Does the state have any control or monitoring over this collection of money,” Justice P B Suresh Kumar asked while hearing a petition by an autorickshaw driver seeking government aid for importing a drug costing Rs 18 crore to treat his six-month-old child who is suffering from a rare genetic disease, spinal muscular atrophy.
“When the state government started collecting money to provide free vaccines, it raised only Rs 68 lakh. However, Rs 18 crore was raised within seven days by some people for the drug. What is the magic behind it,” the court wondered. It directed the government to inform it about the provisions to control crowdfunding in the state. The court made it clear that it did not want to interdict crowdfunding, but only caution the government to have some control over it.
“YouTubers can promote the campaign to raise funds. Let the money come to the government platform. Why should they collect money via their bank accounts? Some YouTubers started arguments in public about spending the balance amount,” said the court. It said the government has not evolved any policy on crowdfunding so far.
“People cannot simply be permitted to collect money. There should be some sort of control by the government. People should not be taken for a ride. If any mismanagement or allegations (regarding the funds) come to light, people will not provide any help in future. The transactions, if left unsupervised, can destabilise the economy,” the court observed orally.
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