The Supreme Court dismissed a petition seeking directions for the implementation of Community Kitchens across States and Union Territories.

The court reiterated that it cannot examine the correctness, suitability or appropriateness of a policy.

The petition, filed by social activists, urged the Court to intervene and direct the Central and State governments to formulate schemes for Community Kitchens to combat hunger, malnutrition, and starvation-related deaths.

The Court explained that while the Constitution does not explicitly provide for the Right to Food, Article 21 guarantees the Right to life with human dignity, encompassing access to food and other basic necessities. Additionally, Article 47 emphasizes the State's duty to raise the level of nutrition and public health standards.

Justice Bela M. Trivedi and Justice Pankaj Mithal observed, “There being a systematic legal framework provided under the NFSA for the implementation of the schemes and programmes…and the States/UTs having also implemented various other schemes and programmes under the said Act, we do not propose to direct the States/UTs to implement the concept of Community Kitchens as prayed for by the petitioners in the instant petition.

AOR Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi represented the petitioners, while AG R Venkataramani appeared for the respondents.

The petitioners had argued that the Government had a constitutional duty to ensure the basic sustainability of human life.

The Court noted, “The States/Union Territories have filed their counter affidavits/ responses stating in detail about the schemes adopted and enforced in their respective states like Poshan Abhiyan, Take Home Ration, Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, Mid-Day Meal, Open Market Sales Scheme, One Nation One Ration Card Scheme, Annapurna Scheme, Antyodaya Anna Yojana etc. also stating that some of the schemes are monitored by the Integrated Child Development Services and Integrated Tribal Development Program.

The Court highlighted the extensive measures already undertaken by both the Central and State Governments to address food security and nutrition challenges.

Citing the National Food Security Act, 2013 (NFSA), the Court remarked that the object of the Act was to ensure food and nutritional security. The NFSA, with its “welfare to rights based approach,” aimed to provide adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity, particularly for pregnant women, lactating mothers, and children.

Consequently, the Court held that “the Courts do not and cannot examine the correctness, suitability or appropriateness of a policy, nor are the courts advisors to the executive on the matters of policy which the executive is entitled to formulate. The Courts cannot direct the States to implement a particular policy or scheme on the ground that a better, fairer or wiser alternative is available.

Accordingly, the Supreme Court disposed of the writ petition.

Cause Title: Anun Dhawan & Ors. v. Union Of India & Ors. (Neutral Citation: 2024 INSC 136)


Petitioners: AOR Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi; Advocates Ashima Mandla, Mandakini Singh, Ibad Mushtaq and Akanksha Rai

Respondents: Attorney General R Venkataramani; Sr. AAG Garima Prasad; AAG Ankita Choudhary and B.K. Satija; ASG K.M.Nataraj; Sr. Advocates Manish Singhvi, V.K. Mudgil, Gurminder Singh and Archana Pathak Dave; AOR Arvind Kumar Sharma, Amrish Kumar, Raj Bahadur Yadav, Purnima Krishna, Sumeer Sodhi, Chirag M. Shroff, Sandeep Kumar Jha, Shreekant Neelappa Terdal, V. N. Raghupathy, Tanmaya Agarwal, Santosh Kumar, Sunny Choudhary, Aaditya Aniruddha Pande, K. Enatoli Sema, Aravindh S., Samar Vijay Singh, Tapesh Kumar Singh, Satish Pandey, Shailesh Madiyal, Abhimanyu Tewari, Swati Ghildiyal, Pukhrambam Ramesh Kumar, Nikhil Jain, Astha Sharma; Advocates R Bala, M.f. Philip, Shivam Singh, Shaswati Parhi, Mukesh Kumar Maroria, Manendra Pal Gupta, Wrick Chatterjee, Shrirang B. Varma, Siddharth Dharmadhikari, Limayinla Jamir, Abbas, Jay Jaimini Pandey, Devyani Bhatt, Eliza Bar, Karun Sharma

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