The Supreme Court on Tuesday imposed a fine on five States and Delhi, saying that they had not taken the implementation of the mid-day meal scheme in schools seriously, stated a report published by Scroll.in.
The published on Tuesday stated that the Apex Court fined Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, the two northeastern States along with Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Jammu & Kashmir Rs one lakh each, for their failure to create an online link along with a chart for monitoring the implementation of the mid-day meal scheme in Government-run schools.
The Apex Court also fined Delhi Rs 2 lakh for not providing it with information on the scheme, the report said.
According to the report, a bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Hemant Gupta said that the fines should be deposited with the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee within four weeks.
It may be mentioned that the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee provides legal aid to people.
The bench of the Supreme Court was hearing a petition filed by Antarrashtriya Manav Adhikaar Nigraani Parishad, an NGO, in 2013, which claimed that in over 12 lakh Government-run and aided schools across India, children receive mid-day meals, but face the risk of food poisoning and related health hazards due to lack of monitoring of the scheme.
The Supreme Court had on March 23, 2017, asked the five States to put up the online link within three months.
The court said on Tuesday: “The mid-day meal scheme, which is of considerable benefit to the children in the country, is not being taken seriously by several states.”
The top court further said: “Data has not been supplied and there are allegations made by the petitioner about food grains disappearing and not reaching the schools and thereby denying the benefit of mid-day meal scheme to children.”
Besides the bench of the court also said that despite several orders to upload data online, some States have not cooperated.
On October 26, the bench said, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Odisha had promised to comply with the requirements of the scheme, and said they would put up the online links, but nothing has been done though more than a month has passed.