Uttarakhand High Court For Maternity Leave For Third Child

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Dehra Dun: In what could provide relief to thousands of women in this small hill state, the Uttarakhand High Court ruled that government will have to provide leave to women employees for the birth of their third child.

According to reports the Uttarakhand High Court struck down a state government rule denying leave to women employees for the birth of their third child as “unconstitutional”. The order by the single bench termed the guidelines went against the letter and spirit of the Constitution.

It said that the second provision of Fundamental Rules 153 of the Uttar Pradesh Fundamental Rules, as  adopted by Uttarakhand, goes against a central act as well as Article 42 of the Constitution, which provides for just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief.

The court said that the rule was against the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 which does not in any manner prohibit grant of maternity leave to woman government employee who already has two children.

The matter came up in a petition files by Urmila Masih, a state government employee who applied for maternity leave for six months, but was denied the same on the grounds that she already had two children.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt is Editor Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish has worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, Jagdish is a recipient of many awards, latest being the 2011 Development Journalism Award. He lives in Dehra Dun.

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