Thursday, February 9, 2023

No Fundamental Right To Poison Children, Can't Allow Outsourcing Of Midday Meal Kitchens: Bombay HC Orders Surprise Inspections At Malegaon Schools

The Bombay High Court on 09-02-2023 directed the civic body of Malegaon city in Maharashtra to conduct surprise inspections at 27 government-aided schools and ascertain if they had operational kitchens and storage rooms to provide midday meals for its students.  A division bench of Justices GS Patel and Neela Gokhale was hearing the schools’ petitions seeking directions to the municipal corporation to re-start supplying uncooked grains instead of asking schools to take cooked meals from the centralized community kitchen chains.

The schools claimed that they were supplied foodgrains between 2000-2019, till the State came up with a revised policy following SC’s guidelines on centralized kitchens. They complained about the punctuality and quantity of food provided through these kitchens. 
“We are not allowing you to outsource the cooking. You don't have the fundamental right to poison children because you are a minority institution…We cannot take the risk,” 
Justice Patel said refusing to even consider the proposition that the schools may by supplied food grains and outsource the cooking.

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