A Division Bench of the Madras High Court (Madurai Bench) on Friday refused to direct the Union and State governments on the menu they should serve at official functions.
Dismissing a petition seeking to avoid serving of non-vegetarian food in government events, Justices P Jyothimani and S Vimala held: “This court, while exercising jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution, cannot impose any restriction on any person in respect of eating and food habits, including those food... supplied at functions both government and otherwise.”
Petitioner E Ramalakshmi, a self-proclaimed follower of saint Vallalar and a publisher of a magazine that propagates vegetarianism, had prayed for a direction to the government not to serve non-vegetarian food at official events “at the expense of taxpayers’ money.”
The petitioner contended that Article 51A of the Constitution demands a fundamental duty to protect and improve the environment, including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife, and to have compassion for living creatures. So, serving non-vegetarian meals was in violation of the Constitutional law that is based on the ‘ahimsa’ principles of Buddha, Mahaveera and other sages.
While dismissing her plea, the judges nonetheless noted that vegetarianism was a laudable principle as nobody has a right to kill any life.