Uttarakhand High Court dismisses PIL seeking implementation of ICDS scheme to every eligible beneficiary
The Uttarakhand High Court dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) as infructuous, filed seeking implementation of Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme to every eligible beneficiary.
The reliefs sought in the PIL are as follows:-
(i) To issue a writ, order, or direction in the nature of certiorari quashing the decision of the respondent no. 2 (State of Uttarakhand), respondent no.3 (Principal Secretary, Department of Women Empowerment and Child Development), respondent no. 4 (Director, Directorate of Women Empowerment and Social Welfare) contained in the order No. 2097/XVII (4)/2013/129/2006 dated 02.09.2013 to provide dry raw ration to the different kind of beneficiaries of the ICDS scheme and to provide Micronutrient Fortified Energy Dense Food as desired to be provided under the “Revised Nutritional and Feeding Norms for Supplementary Nutrition under ICDS” issued by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India on 24.02.2009 and duly adopted as such under the National Food Security Act, 2013 and the Rules 6 and 10 framed there under, instead.
(ii) To issue, a writ, order or direction in the nature of mandamus commanding the opposite parties to ensure that timely distribution of supplementary nutritional food and supplement to the needy persons, children and the lactating and nursing mothers covered under the scheme in the form of Micronutrient Fortified Energy Dense Food as contemplated under the guidelines issued by respondent No. 1 (Union of India) and the National Food Security Act, 2013, Rules read with Revised Nutritional Norms as well as order of Apex Court is done.
(iii) To issue a writ, order, or direction in the nature of mandamus commanding the respondent no. 1 to monitor the implementation of ICDS scheme by the respondents 2 to 4 and to take appropriate penal action for default including with-holding of allocated funds to the State, if required.
(iv) To issue a writ, order or direction in the nature of mandamus commanding and directing the state respondents that ICDS services may be extended to all children, lactating women, pregnant women, and malnourished children as eligible under sections 4, 5, and 6 of the National Food Security Act, 2013 as statutory mandate stipulated under section 7 of the said Act.
(v) To issue a writ, order, or direction in the nature of mandamus commanding and directing the state respondents to radically enhance the quality of all services provided under the ICDS scheme.
(vi) To issue a writ, order, or direction in the nature of mandamus commanding and directing the state respondents to mandatorily complying various guidelines issued by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, for implementation of ICDS scheme in terms of nutrient composition, quality parameters and fortification of supplementary food as specified in guidelines issued for this purpose.
(vii) To issue a writ, order, or direction in the nature of mandamus commanding and directing the state respondents that each and every eligible beneficiary of the ICDS scheme shall get good quality nutrition free from fear of safety and security.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Ramesh Chandra Khulbe observed that PIL was preferred in the year 2021 when the COVID Pandemic was at its height. Due to the changed situation on the ground, this petition, in Court’s view, does not survive.