The Uttarakhand High Court has come to the rescue of a government servant who was denied maternity leave for her third child, terming a state government rule to this effect "unconstitutional".
Hearing a writ petition by Haldwani resident Urmila Manish, the single judge bench of Justice Rajiv Sharma said denial of maternity leave to women for their third child under the Second Proviso of Fundamental Rule 153 of Financial Handbook of the Uttar Pradesh Fundamental Rules, adopted by Uttarakhand, went against the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
The court in its July 30 order said the rule should be struck down as it went against Article 42 of the Constitution, which provides for "just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief", and Section 27 of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961.
Taking a humanitarian view, it ordered that the petitioner be granted leave.
Manish was denied maternity leave on the ground that she already has two children and could not be granted the same for her third child in consonance with the the Second Proviso of Fundamental Rule 153.