In a case of Mid-Day Meal poisoning of 44 girl students in the National Capital, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) found the negligence on the part of the concerned public servants and recommended Rs.5000 each as monetary relief to the victims, which the Government of NCT of Delhi has paid to all except three, who could not be located since they had left the school.
The incident had happened in the Sarvodaya Girls School, Mohan Garden, Uttam Nagar in New Delhi on the 3rd September, 2011 and the girls had to be admitted in the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya hospital. The Commission had taken cognizance of the incident on complaints alleging that a lizard had fallen in the Mid-Day Meal leading to food poisoning.
In the enquiry report received in response to the Commission's notices, it was confirmed that a lizard was found in the Mid-Day Meal provided by a company M/s Indcare Trust. A case vide FIR No. 384/2011 under Section 336, 337/34 IPC was registered in the matter at Police Station Uttam Nagar.
The report also mentioned that "it seems that the lizard was present in food since the time of cooking because the lizard was shrunk and appeared cooked".
Also, the Directorate of Education, Delhi had issued General Instructions regarding Mid-Day Meal on 23rd January, 2012 mentioning that Deputy Directors Education/Education Officers/Principals/Heads of School were not taking due interest in the implementation of Mid-Day Meal Scheme in their districts/zones/schools and that the officers concerned shall be responsible for monitoring and distribution of Mid-Day Meals as per General Instructions.
The Commission observed that in view of this, it was clear that the concerned authorities/public servants had neither taken due precaution nor conducted necessary checks on the food which was supplied to the students at the school. Not only the human rights of the girl students were violated by providing them unhygienic Mid-Day Meal but also their life was put at risk due to this negligence. Thus, the State was liable to pay monetary relief to the victims.