5 states fined Rs 1 lakh for not giving details on mid-day meal

New Delhi,   The Supreme Court on Tuesday imposed a cost of Rs 1 lakh each on Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Odisha and Jammu and Kashmir for not furnishing details on the mid-day meal scheme in their states.

A bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Hemant Gupta also imposed the cost of Rs 2 lakh on the Delhi government for not furnishing the information on mid-day meal scheme.

The court said the fines would be deposited with the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee within four weeks for juvenile justice issues.

The order followed a PIL by Antarrashtriya Manav Adhikaar Nirgraani Parishad drawing the court’s attention to malpractices in the implementation of the scheme.

Noting that the Mid Day Meal Scheme was of considerable benefit to the children, the court in its order said: “We have been trying to get the states to render assistance and to upload all the data so that necessary corrective steps can be taken from time to time. In spite of several of our orders, there has been little or no co-operation from some of the states.”

Saying that the scheme was not being taken “seriously by several States”, the court said: “Data has not been supplied and there are allegations made by the petitioner about foodgrains disappearing and not reaching the schools.”

Imposing the fine, the court said that Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Odisha had said that they will comply with the requirements of the Mid Day Meal Scheme and provide necessary links giving the details of the implementation of the scheme to the satisfaction of the petitioner.

However, the court said, “more than a month has gone by and there has been absolutely no progress made by these states”.