Mid-day meal: SC slaps fine of Rs 50,000 each on three states

August 1, 2018

The Supreme Court slapped Rs 50,000 on Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Uttrakhand for their failure to create an online link with a chart meant for monitoring the implementation and hygiene of mid-day meal schemes in government-run schools.
A bench of justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta, on Wednesday, expressed displeasure that these three “defaulting states” have not yet complied with the directions of the apex court in this regard.

“In view of the default of these three states, costs of 50,000 are imposed upon these states. The amount should be deposited within four weeks from today with the Supreme Court Legal Services Authority for utilisation of juvenile justice issues,” the bench said. “The other defaulting states/UTs are Arunachal Pradesh, Dadar and Nagar Haveli and Puducherry. For the time being, we are not imposing any costs on these states. We expect these states will comply with the directions passed by this court from time to time,” the bench said and posted the matter for further hearing on September 20.

The court was hearing a plea filed by NGO ‘Antarrashtriya Manav Adhikaar Nigraani Parishad’ in 2013 on the issue of mid-day meals. The PIL has claimed that in over 12 lakh government-run and aided schools across the country, children receive free, cooked lunch every day but “they are constantly exposed to the risk of food poisoning and related health hazards due to a lack of mid-day meal infrastructure and proper monitoring of the scheme”.

SC had on March 23, 2017 asked state governments and UTs to upload information including the total number of students getting benefit of the mid-day meal scheme within three months on their websites.

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