Arun Gramudyog Sansthan, an NGO filed a petition before the high court requesting it to issue a writ of mandamus which restrains this ministry from issuing any advertisement or providing a tender or any scheme on the basis of current Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) policy pursuing the order passed by the Supreme Court.
Ruling on this plea, the Supreme Court of India issued an order on 8th March 2020 which directed states like Uttar Pradesh to frame a policy ensuring that the scheme for providing nutritional food to children, lactating and nursing mothers does not affect these population groups due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The High Court of Allahabad has directed the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development to implement the order passed by the Supreme Court which directed the ministry to update its policy regarding providing nutritional food to children, lactating, and nursing mothers under these new pandemic conditions induced by COVID-19. The court has asked the ministry to submit an updated report for this policy.
The plea addressing this issue was heard by the bench of Justice Pankaj Kumar Jaiswal and Justice Karunesh Singh Pawar. The plea asked this ministry to show their written report regarding the policy following the order passed by the Apex Court.
Population groups like children and pregnant mothers are at high risk of infections from COVID-19. Since the entire world is adapting to these novel situations, any policy or scheme designed earlier would not be very effective when it comes to protecting lives. Since the responsibility of handling the welfare of these population groups lies with the Union Ministry, it becomes an essential task of it to make sure that a new policy is brought to ensure the safety of these groups in the circumstances currently prevailing.