Delhi High Court Thursday asked the government, the railway ministry and the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp (IRCTC) to reply to a petition accusing them of supplying unhygienic food to rail passengers.
A division bench comprising judges M.K. Sharma and Reva Khetrapal issued notice to the respondents to file their replies by July 19.
The bench had directed IRCTC, entrusted with the task of supplying food to passengers on running trains, to file a reply to the petition at a hearing on April 28.
Counsel for IRCTC Thursday submitted that the corporation "appreciated" the petition bringing certain deficiencies in its kitchens to the court's notice.
He submitted that Indian Railways was committed to providing quality food to its passengers and efforts were being made to further improve hygiene conditions in its kitchens.
However, the court appointed a four-member committee comprising the two petitioners - Varun Goswami and Shadman Ali - and A.S. Chandhiok and Kirti Uppal, president and secretary, respectively, of the Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA).
The commission was directed to inspect the corporation's kitchens and file a report to the court about the conditions prevailing there and suggest measures to improve them.
The bench also directed the IRCTC to assist the committee in the task.
The conditions prevailing in base kitchens and other cooking units of the Indian Railways were highly deplorable and unhygienic, the petition had alleged.
The railways had failed to set up modern and sanitised kitchens and the staff was not properly trained to perform their duties, the petition said.