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Keywords: Maternity Leave, Municipal Corporation of Delhi vs. Female Workers (Muster Roll) & Anr, Fundamental Rights, Himachal Pradesh High Court

The Himachal Pradesh High Court has reaffirmed that all women are entitled to maternity leave, regardless of their employment.

“The respondent in the instant case was a daily wage woman employee at the time of advance pregnancy and could not have been compelled to undertake hard labor, as it would have been detrimental to not only her health and safety but also to the child’s health, safety, and growth. The maternity leave is a fundamental human right of the respondent, which could not have been denied. Therefore, clearly, the action of the petitioner is violative of Articles 29 and 39D of the Constitution of India”, said the bench of Justices Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Virender Singh.[1]

The respondent was only able to work for 156 days in 1996 as a result of taking maternity leave, which prevented her from working the requisite 240 days per year. The Tribunal ruled that the respondent’s maternity leave should be regarded as continuous, which ultimately led the state to file a case against the respondent, stating that there is no provision for giving maternity leave to a woman who works for daily wages.

The court has however held that denying maternity rights to women would be a violation to their right to equality, said the bench referring to Municipal Corporation of Delhi vs. Female Workers (Muster Roll) & Anr.[2]

Written by- Satyanshu Sharma, College name- Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Patiala, Semester- 2nd, An intern under Legal Vidhiya

[1] LIVELAW, https://www.livelaw.in/high-court/himachal-pradesh-high-court/himachal-pradesh-high-court-maternity-leave-fundamental-human-right-230916?infinitescroll=1 (last accessed on 19th June, 2023).

[2] https://indiankanoon.org/doc/808569/ (last accessed on 19th June, 2023).


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