Neeraj v. State of Rajasthan(S.B. Writ Petition No. 4384/2020)

Judgement-

The Rajasthan High Court ordered that a female government servant who joined government service after her pregnancy would be entitled to maternity leave if she joined during her period of confinement, that is 15 days before childbirth till three months thereafter.

Rationale-

1. It was an employee-centric beneficial provision, incorporated to obviate hardship faced by a mother. It had no connection to the date or event of childbirth.

2. the date of childbirth was relevant for paternity leave, but not for maternity leave, because it was not specified in the latter as ‘eriod of confinement’ – Rule 103A is only limited to paternity leave.

3. Since on the date of promulgation of these Rules, an employee, who had already given birth, was held entitled to avail maternity leave, it will not only be iniquitous but also discriminatory to exclude an employee, who has given birth to a child a few days ahead of joining the government service.

4. Needless it is to say, that having joined pursuant to an appointment on the substantive post, an incumbent becomes a government servant for all practical purposes and a mother’s maternity needs cannot eclipse, simply because she has joined the duties.

5. It is high time when State should focus on the merit of the case and confine itself to the permissibility of right or benefits, to a citizen, instead of raising worthless objections or bogies of delay.

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