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CHILD CARE LEAVE - The Maternity Benefits Act -SECTIONS 2, 3, 5-A, 5-B, 9 AND 11 - (The petitioner mother was held entitled to child care leave) - The Maternity Benefit Act,1961

The petitioner was appointed on the post of lecturer on contractual basis in a medical college at Jhansi on 24.2.2009. The appointment of the petitioner was initially for a period of 1 year. Thereafter, it was extended from time to time under the orders of the state government. Later on she was promoted to the post of Assistant Professor. She earned one promotion to the post of Associate Professor in January, 2015. In the year 2016, the petitioner gave birth to a child and was granted maternity leave for a period of 6 months from 03.05.2016 to 29.10.2016. After availing of the said leave, the petitioner joined the college on 4.11.2016. The petitioner's husband was also a doctor by profession and was working on the post of Associate Professor in the same medical college.

Finding that the child was not comfortable with the maid during the period when the petitioner and her husband went out for work, she applied for child care leave for a period of 3 months but the said application was rejected on the ground that the petitioner being a contractual employee was not entitled for grant of child care leave. Being aggrieved, the petitioner approached the High Court by means of the present writ petition. It was contended on behalf of the petitioner that the Central Government vide office Memorandum dated 11.9.2008 took a decision on the basis of recommendation of the 6th Central Pay Commission relating to enhancement of the quantum of maternity leave and introduction of child care leave to the central government employees. The said Memorandum was adopted by the State of U.P. On the basis of this fact, the petitioner urged that she was entitled to the benefit of grant of child care leave.

The High Court referred to Article 15(3) of the Constitution of India which states that nothing shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children. The High Court further referred to the Directive Principles of State Policy, particularly to Article 42 which states that the State may make provision for just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief. The High Court also referred to the relevant provisions of the Maternity Benefits Act and observed that the benefit under the said Act as well as the rules of the government orders providing for grant of maternity benefits and child care leave are applicable to female employees irrespective of their nature of employment whether permanent, temporary or contractual. Hence, the petition was allowed with certain directions.

-Dr. Rachana Chaurasiya v. State of U. P. and others, H. C. 2017.


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