The Supreme Court on Monday sought reply from the Centre and others on a plea against Lakshadweep Administration's decision to remove meat products from the menu of midday meals for school children, and also closure of dairy farms.
A bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and A.S. Bopanna issued notice to the Centre, Union Territory of Lakshadweep, and others on an appeal challenging the Kerala High Court order, which declined to entertain a PIL against the Lakshadweep Administration's decision.
"Issue notice, returnable in two weeks after the ensuing summer vacation. In the meanwhile, the interim order passed by the High Court on June 22, 2021 shall continue", it said.
The PIL filed by Ajmal Ahmed, a Kavaratti native, alleged that Praful Khoda Patel, after taking charge as the UT Administrator, prioritised closing down the farms run by the Animal Husbandry Department. The plea challenged the May last year order of the Director of Animal Husbandry, which directed immediate closure of all the dairy farms. The plea claimed that it was done to implement the proposed Animal Preservation (Regulation), 2021, which bans the slaughter of cows, calves, and bulls.
The petitioner also challenged the decision of the administration to remove chicken and other meat items from the menu of midday meals for school children in Lakshadweep, alleging that it was an attack on the food habits of the islanders.
The division bench of the high court dismissed this plea in September last year.
Citing the direction, the petitioner claimed the sale and purchase of beef and beef products would be banned by closing down the farms. As a result, the islanders' will be forced to purchase milk products originating from Gujarat.
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