A division bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly considered the PIL by Kavaratti-native Ajmal Ahmed R. Two orders of the administration for removing chicken and other meat from mid-day meals of schoolchildren and the one for closing down dairy farms run by the administration in Lakshadweep were challenged before the court.
The petitioner had contended that the orders violate right to life and privacy guaranteed through Article 21. The orders were passed with the malicious intention of changing the food habits of the islanders and is a prelude to a ban on slaughter and consumption of beef and beef products, the plea said.
The closure of local dairy farms is also intended to promote dairy products from a Gujarat-based manufacturer, it was alleged.
However, the Lakshadweep administration, had argued that it is a policy decision of the administration and that the court should not interfere with it. The dairy farms are causing a loss of Rs1 crore every year, the administration had told the court while justifying its decision.
Further, the administration had contended that the nutritional requirements of school children can be met with the new menu and the daily nutritional requirement will be achieved.