The court has directed the respondents to file an affidavit in this regard before June 16. 

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday (June 2) issued a notice to the AAP government seeking its response on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that prayed for a direction on providing cooked midday meal or food security allowances to eligible children during the COVID-19 lockdown when schools are closed.

The court has directed the respondents to file an affidavit in this regard before June 16.

The petition, filed by an NGO, Mahila Ekta Manch, urged the court for directions to the Delhi government to ensure the compliance of advisory (dated 20.03.20200 and subsequent advisories including letter (dated 29.04.2020) issued by Central government.

The advisory was issued to all chief secretaries of states and UTs directing them to provide foodgrains in advance for a month to the eligible students in beginning of each month.

The petitioner said the purpose was to boost immunity of poor children during the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, while citing that they were approached by the parents of children who were beneficiaries of the scheme.

The plea has alleged that the Delhi government has stopped issuing this meal to eligible children belonging to economically weaker sections. It further alleged that the children have been deprived of nutritious food during the pandemic situation.

It further said that the flagship programme of the government has played a vital role in eradication of malnutrition among children belonging to weaker section of society and during pandemic when medical experts have insisted upon enhancing immunity against the disease, the Delhi government has failed to issue the midday meal to such children.