Thiruvananthapuram: Praful Khoda Patel’s Lakshadweep administration suffered a setback when the Kerala High Court stayed two of his most controversial administrative orders.
These relate to the exclusion of non-vegetarian food from the menu of lunch for school children and closure of dairy farms in the island.
The court order, issued by the division bench headed by the chief justice in response to a public interest litigation filed by an island resident, stayed the operation of the controversial administrative measures until further notice.
The court sought to know from the administration the reason for ordering closure of dairy farms and severely criticised the decision to drop non-vegetarian items from the school menu. The court questioned the rationale behind the decision to alter the food habits of the people that has been prevailing all these years.
The counsel for the administration tried to explain the lack of storing meat products as the reason behind the decision to alter the students meal menu. Similarly, the decision to close the dairy farms was attributed to alleged lack of profitability by these units.
The petitioner had pointed out that the school meal menu was being followed since 1950 and claimed that the administration’s plan was to entrust the task of distributing the school meals to a Bengaluru agency. The idea was to enforce a vegetarian menu, he added.
The petitioner further alleged that the move to close down local dairy farms was meant to facilitate handing over the distribution of milk and milk products in the island to a private company.
The court then issued the order staying the operation of both the controversial measures.