Karnataka High Court: Nataraj Rangaswamy, J., allowed the petition and granted maternity leave by setting aside the impugned order.

The facts of the case are such that the petitioner was employed as a Senior Resident in the Department of Medicine, ESIC College and Hospital, Kalaburgi on contract basis. The petitioner joined services on 24-07-2018 and after 125 days of service she submitted a leave application on 20-11-2018 seeking for grant of maternity leave from 26-11-2018 to 19-05-2019. The petitioner thereafter delivered on 24-12-2018 and respondent 5 rejected the application. Aggrieved by the refusal to grant maternity leave, present writ petition was filed.

The Court observed that the Office Memorandum dated 11-01-2018 discloses that in respect of Teaching and Non-Teaching Staff they are entitled to 26 weeks of Maternity Leave, subject to the condition that such person must have rendered at least 80days of service in the past 12 months preceding the date of expected delivery, as envisaged in the Maternal Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017.

The Court further observed that in the present case the application was submitted on 20-11-2018 seeking for maternity leave for 26 weeks which terminated on 19-05-2019 and the petitioner delivered on 24-12-2018. Therefore the petitioner was entitled to the benefit of Maternity Leave even as per Office Memorandum dated 11-01-2018 as by the time she had sought for Maternity Leave, she had put in 80 days of service.

The Court thus held, “this writ petition is allowed and the impugned order passed by respondent no. 5 is quashed. The leave sought for by the petitioner for by the petitioner for the period 26-11-2018 to 19-05-2019 is granted and the same shall be considered as “on duty”.

[Swetha v. Union of India, WP No. 202702 of 2019, decided on 02-08-2021]

Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


For petitioners: Mr Ameet Kumar Deshpande

For respondents: Mr Sudhirsingh R Vijapur and Sanjeev Kumar C. Patil

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