Delhi HC Stresses Maternity Benefits as Fundamental Rights

Delhi HC Stresses Maternity Benefits as Fundamental Rights
Delhi HC Stresses Maternity Benefits as Fundamental Rights
Delhi HC Stresses Maternity Benefits as Fundamental Rights
Delhi HC Stresses Maternity Benefits as Fundamental Rights

Delhi HC Stresses Maternity Benefits as Fundamental Rights

Delhi HC Stresses Maternity Benefits as Fundamental Rights

Delhi HC Stresses Maternity Benefits as Fundamental Rights

Denial of maternity benefits to a female employee has been strongly condemned by the Delhi High Court, which considers it inhumane and against principles of social justice and fundamental rights. The court’s stance was evident in a recent case where the Delhi University (DU) terminated the services of a contractual employee while she was on maternity leave, a decision deemed arbitrary and unjust.

Justice Chandra Dhari Singh of the Delhi High Court criticized the termination of a female contractual employee’s services during her maternity leave. He deemed the institution’s actions unjust and unsustainable, asserting that maternity benefits should not be withheld from female employees solely because of their contractual employment status.

Reinstatement and Compensation Ordered

In response to the unjust termination, the judge ordered the reinstatement of the female employee and directed the authorities to compensate her with an amount of Rs 50,000. The court emphasized that maternity benefits are not just a statutory right but an integral part of a woman’s identity. Denying these rights infringes upon a woman’s fundamental right to choose to bring life into the world and contravenes principles of social justice.

A Case of Legal and Moral Violation

The petitioner, who served as a female attendant at a DU hostel on an ad-hoc basis since 2018, shared her ordeal with the court. Despite her maternity leave being approved, she did not receive her salary during that period. Upon returning to work, she was informed that her services had been terminated. The DU’s own notification stated that contractual or ad-hoc female employees were entitled to 26 weeks of paid maternity leave, which applied to the petitioner. The court concluded that the institution’s action was arbitrary and unjust.

Legal Redress and Justice Served

The court upheld the petitioner’s rights by directing the authorities to reinstate her to her previous position or any other suitable role according to her eligibility. The court also ordered the prompt payment of maternity benefits as per the Act of 1961, ensuring that justice prevails in this matter.

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