Supreme Court Declines to Intervene in Lakshadweep Administration’s Exclusion of Meat from School Mid-Day Meal Menu


In a recent development, the Supreme Court of India made a noteworthy decision by dismissing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the Lakshadweep administration’s decision to remove chicken, beef, and other meats from the menu of mid-day meals for schoolchildren. Additionally, the administration had also issued an order to close all dairy farms in the archipelago operated by the animal husbandry department.

Justice Aniruddha Bose, who presided over the case, underscored the principle that personal preferences and sentiments should not be allowed to influence policy matters, particularly those related to the provision of essential services like mid-day meals for schoolchildren. The Court’s decision signifies its commitment to maintaining the objectivity and impartiality of policy decisions, ensuring they are based on broader considerations of nutrition, logistics, and administrative efficiency rather than individual opinions.

The move to alter the mid-day meal menu and the closure of dairy farms were decisions taken by the Lakshadweep administration to address various local concerns, including issues related to hygiene, dietary preferences, and administrative efficiency. By declining to interfere with these decisions, the Supreme Court has reaffirmed the principle of administrative autonomy, allowing authorities to make determinations they consider appropriate for the region’s welfare, as long as they are consistent with the law.

This ruling has broader implications as it reiterates the importance of upholding the sanctity of policy decisions taken by local administrations within the boundaries of legality. It underscores the significance of evidence-based policymaking while respecting local cultural and dietary sensitivities, ensuring that essential services are delivered efficiently and effectively to all segments of the population.

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