Court orders relief to kids stricken ill by midday meal

New Delhi, June 3 (Calcutta Tube) Underlining the need for serving hygienic midday meal to students, the Delhi High Court Thursday announced a relief of over Rs.4 lakh for 126 government school kids who fell ill after eating contaminated food.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Madan B. Lokur awarded a compensation of over Rs.4 lakh to 126 students who fell ill after consuming contaminated midday meal at a government school in the capital.

‘Young children suffered physical pain and indubitable mental agony. The mental shock of a child, who goes to the casualty ward, can be well imagined. The children who were admitted in the intensive care unit have suffered more than others,’ the court said, directing the government to pay the relief in the form of fixed deposits to be paid to students after they attain majority.

‘The midday meal scheme has been introduced by the government. It is the obligation of the state to see that it is properly worked out and none becomes a victim and suffers from any kind of health hazard due to consumption of bad food,’ the court said.

‘There can be no trace or shadow of doubt that it is the state government which has to pay the compensation as the lacunae come within the state action and the grievance agitated falls within the public law domain,’ the court said.

The court granted compensation of Rs.15,000 to Pooja, Rs.10,000 each to Lakshmi, Taranum and Poonam and Rs.5,000 to Gayatri.

The court also awarded compensation of Rs.3,000 each to all the 121 students in the school who fell ill after consuming the food.

Five students from the Government Girls Higher Secondary School near Darya Ganj in central Delhi were admitted to hospital May 6 with food poisoning symptoms after eating lunch under the midday meal scheme.

The court also directed the government to take appropriate steps against the social organisation that supplied the food to the school.

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