SC imposes Rs 10 lakh additional cost on Manipur for failing to pay prior fine for community kitchens


IMPHAL | February 18, 2020:

The Supreme Court on Monday asked Manipur, Delhi, Maharashtra, Odisha, and Goa to deposit an additional cost of Rs 10 lakh each as they failed to pay Rs 5 lakh each imposed on them last week for failing to file affidavit on steps being taken to formulate a scheme for community kitchens.

A bench of Justice NV Ramana imposed an additional cost of Rs 5 lakh on the five states.

The bench also refused to waive off the fine as requested by many states. The central government also said that it will file an additional affidavit in the matter.

Last week, Supreme Court had observed that only seven states and Union Territories have filed affidavits on food security and community kitchens which are, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Karnataka, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Nagaland and Jammu, and Kashmir.

The court will hear the plea next on April 8. The bench had then said if state governments file an affidavit within 24 hours, they will pay Rs 1 lakh as cost and others who don't file a reply to pay Rs 5 lakh.

The plea alleged that many children under the age of five die every day due to hunger and malnutrition and this condition was violative of various fundamental rights, including the right to food and life of citizens.

The PIL filed by social activists Anun Dhawan, Ishann Singh, and Kunajan Singh had sought a direction to the Centre for creating a national food grid for people falling outside the purview of the public distribution

The plea referred to the state-funded community kitchens being run in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Jharkhand, and Delhi that serve meals at subsidized rates in hygienic conditions.