Madhya Pradesh High Court

Madhya Pradesh High Court: In a writ petition challenging the order dated 21-09-2022, wherein the petitioner’s application for maternity leave was denied, a single-judge bench comprising of Maninder S. Bhatti, J., held that the respondents’ stand was misconceived, as there is no condition in the agreement that prevents the consideration of the petitioner’s claim for maternity leave in the event of a miscarriage. The petition was allowed, and the impugned order dated was set aside.

Brief Facts

In the instant matter, the petitioner preferred a petition challenging the order dated 21-09-2022, wherein the petitioner’s application for maternity leave was declined. The petitioner contended that, even in the case of a miscarriage, the benefit of maternity leave cannot be denied, citing a precedent from the Court and a judgment from the Supreme Court.

Moot Point

  1. Whether the denial of maternity leave in the case of a miscarriage is in accordance with the relevant legal provisions?

  2. Whether the conditions outlined in the agreement, governing contractual appointments as Assistant Block Manager, preclude the extension of maternity leave in the event of a miscarriage?

Court’s Analysis and Decision

Upon considering the arguments presented by both parties and examining clause 12 of the conditions outlined in agreement for appointment as Assistant Block Manager, the Court found that the petitioner, as a contractual employee, is entitled to maternity leave of 26 weeks. The Court observed that the agreement does not contain any provision restricting maternity leave in the case of a miscarriage. Therefore, the Court held that the respondent’s contention, based on the miscarriage, is misconceived.

The Court cancelled the order dated 21-09-2022 and remitted the matter back to the respondents for a fresh decision on the grant of maternity leave to the petitioner. The Court directed the respondents to consider the petitioner’s claim in line with the established legal principles established in Priyanka Gujarkar Shrivastava v. Registrar General, Writ Petition No. 17004/2015 decided on 2-3-2017 by the Court and Kavita Yadav v. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Department, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1067. The respondents were instructed to make a decision within 60 days from the date of the production of a certified copy of the order.

[Rajkumari Rajak v. State of M.P., 2023 SCC OnLine MP 4452, order dated 20-10-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Shri Sanjeev Kumar Singh, Counsel for the Petitioner

Shri Praveen Namdeo, Government Advocate, Counsel for the Respondent No. 1 to 2

Shri Manan Agrawal and Shri Anoop Kumar Bardiya, Counsel for the Respondent No. 5

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