Bihar 2013 midday meal tragedy: Ex-principal gets 17 years in jail


A court in Bihar's Saran district on Monday sentenced school principal to 10 years imprisonment in connection with the much-publicised Dharmasati Gandaman Primary school mid-day meal case in which altogether 23 children had died after eating food cooked in contaminated oil at the school on July 16, 2013.

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Additional District and Sessions Judge (II) Vijay Anand Tiwary had on August 24 convicted Meena Devi, ex-principal of Dharmasati Gandaman Primary School, but acquitted her husband Arjun Rai for lack of evidence. The court sentenced Devi to 17 years under two sections of 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) of the IPC.

As per the order, she will have to undergo 10 years of imprisonment under 304 while seven years of imprisonment under 308 of IPC. The court made it clear that she would have to serve the two sentences separately.

Besides, it also slapped a fine of Rs 2.50 lakh under section 304 and Rs 1.25 lakh under Section 308 of the IPC on Devi. Twenty-three teenaged students of the school had died after eating their mid-day meals on July 16, 2013, an incident which rocked the state. Both Devi and her husband were taken into custody after the incident. The court acquitted Meena's husband Rai who was charged with supplying the contaminated oil with which the meals were cooked on the fateful day.