At, High Court of Karnataka
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE R. GURURAJAN
For the Appearing Parties: B.Manohar, L.M.Chidanandaiah, Advocates.
R. GURURAJAN, J.
( 1 ) PETITIONERS are minority institutions established by the respective trusts/societies for the purpose of imparting education to the students in Mysore Town without Grant-in-Aid Code. Petitioners have established schools for different categories of students, more particularly the minority students of Mysore town. Having established the necessary infrastructure in the form of building and other facilities for imparting education for the students in petitioners' institutions, they have been granted aid by the State Government. They are spending considerable amount of money for education purposes. They have the protection under Articles 29 and 30 of the Constitution of India. Petitioners state that the State Government took a decision to extend Akshara Dasoha scheme. e. , to provide midday meal to children studying in Government schools. Petitioners state that the respondents are under legal duty to provide necessary infrastructure to the management. They are spending considerable amount of money in the matter of education, providing midday meal would mean higher expenditure. They say that they cannot afford such expenditure.
( 2 ) ACCORDING to petition averments, 2nd respondent issued a circular and it made available Rs. 1,31 ps. for each of the children for providing midday meal. It also provides 90 gms. of rice, 20 gms. of toor dal, 5 gms. of salt, 3 gms. of oil and 25 gms. of vegetables. Rs. 1. 31 ps. is totally insufficient. A minimum of Rs. 7 to 8/- is required. A paltry sum of Rs. 1. 31 ps. is insufficient. They may have to spend roughly about Rs. 10,000/- p. m. They also have to spend large sums for other facilities. With these facts, petitioners are before me seeking to quash Annexure-A in the matter of implementation of midday meal Scheme in the petitioners' institutions.
( 3 ) STATE Government has entered appearance and it states in the memo that the State Government has taken a decision to implement the midday meal Scheme to the aided institutions also in the State of karnataka in terms of directions of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India dated 20-4-2004. They further say in para 3 reading as under: ?it is submitted that for implementation of the midday meal scheme, Government of India provided rice free of cost to the classes 1 to 5 and Government of Karnataka providing rice free of cost to the students of 6th and 7th standards. Further, in order to meet other expenditure the State Government is providing Rs. 1,31 per day per student for effective implementation of midday meal Scheme in the State of Karnataka. All the aided institutions bound to implement the scheme framed by the State Government as per the Grant-in-Aid Code agreement. Further, circular issued by the 2nd respondent dated 6-9-2004 to the above effect is produced herewith as Annexure-R1 for the kind perusal of this hon'ble Court. In view of that, the petitioner is not entitled to seek for quashing the order Annexure-A issued by the 2nd respondent. Hence, the writ petitions as filed by the petitioners are liable to be dismissed".
( 4 ) HEARD Sri Chidanandayya, learned Counsel for the petitioners. The learned Counsel reiterated the facts and grounds raised in the petitions. He says that a huge expenditure cannot be made to be borne by the institutions which is contrary to Articles 29 and 30 of the constitution. He further states that the State Government has to incur the expenditure or at least reimburse the petitioners. He wants appropriate direction in the matter.
( 5 ) PER contra, the learned Government Advocate would support the scheme in terms of the memo filed by the State Government.
( 6 ) AFTER hearing and carefully perusing the material on record the following order is passed: constitution of India provides for life and liberty in terms of Article 21 of the Constitution It has been interpreted by Courts to say that it would be a meaningful life in terms of the Constitution. Supreme Court has ruled that right to live with human dignity enshrined in Article 21 derives its life breath from the Directive Principles of State Policy and particularly clauses (e) and (f) of Articles 39, 41 and 42 and at the least, therefore, it must include protection of the health and strength of workers, men and women, and of the tender age of children against abuse, opportunities and facilities for children to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity, educational facilities, just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief. These are the minimum requirements which must exist in order to enable a person to live with human dignity and no State has the right to take any action which will deprive a person of the enjoyment of these basic essentials. (See Bandhua Mukti Morcha v Union of India ). In fact the Directive principles provide for right to work, to education and to public assistance in certain cases. Article 46 provides for promotion of educational and economic interests of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled tribes and other weaker sections. Article 21-A provides for right to free education. From a combined reading of all these articles what is clear to me is that framers of the Constitution wanted education to be made available to all sections of Society.
( 7 ) STATE Government taking note of these constitutional duties has chosen to introduce a Welfare Scheme of Akshara Dasoha by which poor students are provided midday meals. Annexure-A would show a directive by the Apex Court in terms of the material placed on record. In annexure-A it is seen that the State Government after providing food articles, provides Rs. 1. 31 ps. towards expenditure of every student in the matter of midday meal Scheme. This payment in my view would be sufficient enough to meet the requirements in the matter of midday meal scheme. It may be in some circumstances, some amount may have to be provided by the Management. I am of the view that a hungry stomach cannot be expected to get good education with attention and it is for this reason that the Government has chosen to introduce a Welfare Scheme providing food to the empty stomach by way of Welfare Scheme in the larger interest of Society. This social responsibility cannot be avoided by the petitioners. No acceptable legal principle is shown to me in terms of articles 29 and 30 of the Constitution of India. I do not think that my conscience would permit me to interfere in such welfare mea
Please Login To View The Full Judgment!
sures, thereby depriving the hungry stomach of some food in the matter of education, in terms of Annexure-A. I do not want to exercise my discretionary jurisdiction in such matters under Article 226 of the Constitution. ( 8 ) BEFORE concluding, I deem it proper to observe that such welfare measures have to be constantly supervised and inspected in the larger interest of the society as a whole. I am sure that the authorities in charge would be visiting/inspecting/supervising this Scheme with regard to cleanliness, with regard to proper food, with regard to proper infrastructure to avoid avoidable accidents and avoidable difficulties in the larger interest of the Society. Petitions are rejected. No costs.