Man files PIL taking exception to non-vegetarian food on trains

PIL in Gujarat High Court: ‘Segregate train seats for veg, meat-eaters. The PIL, filed by E E Saiyed, 67, a resident of Khanpur in Ahmedabad, a lawyer himself, has pleaded the court to direct Indian Railways to give option for allotting seats in accordance with the food choice of passengers.

AHMEDABAD: A “pure vegetarian” man has filed a PIL in Gujarat high court, seeking directions to Indian Railways to either stop providing non-vegetarian food on trains or to segregate travellers based on their dietary preferences. The HC is likely to hear this PIL next week.

Advocate E E Saiyed filed the PIL after being “offended” at non-veg food served to fellow passengers in his compartment while he was traveling in Rajdhani Express earlier this month. “Vegetarians often feel embarrassed travelling by train when non-veg eaters are provided chicken and mutton while they are sitting next to them,” he said.

In his petition, Saiyed contended that he is “espousing a public cause” when he demands segregation of vegetarian and non-vegetarian passengers or to make separate eating arrangements for non-vegetarians on trains.

“It is the government’s obligation to protect the right to food of every citizen by giving due effect to the fundamental rights under Article 21 and 25,” he argues in the petition.

The PIL is urging the HC to direct railway authorities to refrain from serving non-vegetarian food on trains. It demands that the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation website should be changed to segregate passengers according to their food choices at the time of online ticket booking and provide separate sitting arrangements for vegetarian and non-vegetarian passengers.

The HC is likely to hear this PIL next week.

Suppose HC directs bifurcation of seat allocations based on the eating habits, then Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) will have to include an algorithm to invoke this arrangement.