The Institute, which has received flak from students opposed to the 'ban' on non-vegetarian food at the cafe, in a statement, said, "There is no restriction on the sale of non-vegetarian food items in the cafeteria."
"The letter issued to the caterer was in the context of stale food and no cooking allowed in the academic area and the preemptive action was in the interest of health and safety of the users," it said.
"The Institute does not favour any one preference over another or discriminate on such grounds," it said.
The statement comes less than a month after one of the Institute's hostels asked students to use separate tables and plates for non-vegetarian and vegetarian food items at the hostel mess, after receiving complaints from some vegetarian students.
The Civil Caf is popular among students as it has an adjoining terrace. Students have alleged that it is an attempt by the management to impose the food culture of a small section of people on the entire student body.
"The Institute cannot take such knee-jerk reactions on a few complaints. Such decisions should be taken after discussions with all the stakeholders. If health was the concern, the department should have ensured the contractor serves fresh food," said a student.