The Bombay High Court has directed the State Coordination Committee to advise the Maharashtra government by July 10 on whether there should be provision for grant of special child care leave to its women employees following a plea by a woman who has a disabled child.
The direction was given by a Bench of Justices Abhay Oka and PD Naik recently on a plea filed by 34-year-old Deepika Sagar Nersekar, a stenographer in the court of small causes, who had sought child care leave citing Rule 43-C of the Central Civil Services (Leave) Rules, though she is an employee of the State government.
The petitioner has an eight-year-old girl who has been suffering from Cerebral Palsy Diplegia since birth. She contended that a Central rule provides child care leave, but the State did not have such a provision and that it was the duty of the State Coordination Committee to advise the government accordingly but it had failed to do so.
The Central rule says a woman government servant, having minor children below the age of 18 and who has no earned leave to her credit, may be granted child care leave for maximum two years during the entire service period for taking care of up to two children.
The Bench ruled that if the State Coordination Committee is not in existence the same shall be forthwith constituted and this committee shall take appropriate decision expeditiously on or before June 30.
The Bench also asked the State to take a decision on the committee’s advice by August 16.
The court said if the State government does not grant such benefit, the interim relief granted to the petitioner on February 23 shall cease to operate with effect from September 1, and the petitioner shall resume duty immediately.
However, if the State decides to grant benefit of the special child care leave to such category of women government servants, then the case of the petitioner will be governed by the decision of the State. — PTI