A division bench comprising Justice MM Sundresh Justice R Hemalatha made it clear that eggs should be supplied to children, and added that the government should work a way out by deploying teachers and anganwadi workers to ensure delivery of eggs for a month at one go.
The bench also stressed that for the already malnourished children, extra dhal was not enough to make up for the protein in the egg. It also discounted non-adherence to social distancing, pointing out that the government had allowed Tasmac shops to function despite being aware that social distancing was not possible.
“If the government has decided to supply dry ration, there cannot be an issue in including eggs as part of the ration and ensuring its delivery,” it added.
The government advocate had insisted that the procurement and distribution of eggs was not possible as their shelf-life was less than 20 days and would hence be impossible to distribute them to 40 lakh children the time frame.
Regarding the government submission that 71 lakh sanitary napkins were distributed to more than 20 lakh children, the bench conceded to the petitioner’s submission that the process undertaken has not actually helped the needy girls. “The girls have to be identified and the napkins issued along with the dry ration,” the bench said.
The plea was posted to Tuesday after the government counsel sought time.