The Lakshwadeep administration has informed the Supreme Court that it decided to omit meat from the menu of mid day meal in schools on the Lakshadweep islands and include fruits and dry fruits in its place since regular islanders consume meat from their houses but not fruits and dry fruits [Ajmal Ahmed R v. Union of India]..The top court had sought response from the Centre on an appeal by a resident of Kavaratti island against a September 2021 judgment of the Kerala High Court which had dismissed a plea challenging the decision of the Lakshadweep administration.The plea challenged the decision of the administration to close dairy farms and omit meat from the menu of mid day meal in schools on the Lakshadweep islands.The Union Territory's administrator Praful Khoda Patel has stated in his counter-affidavit that mid day meal in schools is not meant to be in addition or substitute to the food to be provided to students at their home."In Lakshadweep meat and chicken are normally a part of regular meals in all homes. On the other hand consumption of fruits and dry fruits among islanders is very less. Thus omitting meat and chicken from the menu of mid day meal scheme and including fruits and dry fruits is perfectly in tune with the objective of mid day meal scheme," the affidavit said..The reply further stated that during monsoons it is difficult to procure meat and chicken whereas availability of fish, egg and fruits, dry fruits remains unhindered. It was also argued that due to lack of proper storage facilities, there is more scope of providing the altered menu to the students rather than the one with meat and chicken. .The Lakshadweep administration has stated that the decision to close down dairy farms of the department of animal husbandry was taken since the farms met the demand of only 300 to 400 persons where as the total population of Lakshadweep Island is 20,000 which was causing a loss of ₹96 lakh to the public exchequer.."The government is well within its rights to disengage from a commercial activity which is causing a huge loss to the public exchequer," the UT submitted..The bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and AS Bopanna had revived a June 22 interim order of the High Court which had granted interim relief to the petitioner and ordered that "food, including meat, chicken, fish and egg, and other items, prepared and served to the school going children of Lakshadweep, as done in the past, should be continued until further orders.".The petitioner had contended that Lakshadweep has been providing midday meals since the 1950's and serving cooked meat and other foods to school going children from pre-primary to elementary levels. Since 2009, the same was being provided to students till the 12th standard as well.However, a new menu without any meat products was implemented which, according to the appellant, is completely violative of the right to food guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.