New Delhi, December 4: The Supreme Court on Tuesday slapped a fine of Rs 1 lakh each on states of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Odisha and Jammu and Kashmir for failing to create an online link to monitor implementation of mid-day meal schemes in government-run schools. A fine of Rs 2 lakh has also been imposed on Delhi for failing to do so.
A bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur and comprising Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Hemant Gupta also took on the state governments for not complying with the directions of the top court on the issue yet. The bench asked the states to deposit the amount with the Supreme Court Legal Services Authority within four weeks.
This direction came after counsel appearing for the petitioner told the apex court that these states have yet not created a link on their websites as asked by the apex court. Madhya Pradesh: 50 Children Fall Ill After Consuming Mid-Day Meal in Government School at Damoh.
On March 23, 2017, the top court had asked state governments and Union Territories to upload information including the total number of students getting the benefit of the mid-day meal scheme within three months on their websites.
The top court was hearing a plea filed by NGO 'Antarrashtriya Manav Adhikaar Nigraani Parishad' on the issue of mid-day meals. The petition has claimed that children receive free, cooked lunch every day in over 12 lakh government-run and aided schools across the country; however, there is a constant risk of food poisoning and related health hazards due to a lack of mid-day meal infrastructure and proper monitoring of the scheme.