Madras High Court – A Woman Cannot Be Forced to Swing Between Motherhood and Employment! - Karma Global
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Madras High Court – A Woman Cannot Be Forced to Swing Between Motherhood and Employment!


Karma Global’s Significant Milestone in The Journey of Tying Up with Sundeep Puri & Associates, A Topmost Law Firm!


Karma Management Global Consulting Solutions Pvt. Ltd. one of the top 5 labour law consulting firms in the country, has recently hit upon yet another significant milestone in the journey of tying up SUNDEEP PURI ASSOCIATES AND ADVOCATE, where both these Firms have formally joined hands together to collaborate and create a bigger alliance by scaling up its business on Pan India basis and Internationally to give greater reach of its services together, to its hundreds of clients all over.

Sundeep Puri & Associates (SD Puri & Co.) with 55+ years of existence and helmed by Adv Sundeep Puri & Adv Ravi Paranjpe is one of the largest retainer firms in India specializing in “Employment Laws” advising Corporate Sector. The Firm boasts of some clients being associated since the last 55+ years and majority since last 30-40 years. They have extensive experience in counselling Foreign MNCs and Indian MNC Clients having multi-locational Factories &/or Offices Pan-India on a daily basis on a wide range of “Employment & Labour” issues, keeping in view the cultural diversity of the workforce such as Acquisitions, Mergers, Consolidations, Reductions in work force, Maintaining union free environment by not undermining the principles of collective bargaining & also preserving operational flexibility in unionized settings, providing tailor made models for conflict free  productivity that is conducive Industrial Environment, as also in respect to applicability of the various labour laws.  They believe in Solution oriented Practical Advice backed by Law.

On the other hand,  Karma Management Global Consulting Solutions Pvt. Ltd. since 2004 is backed by 25 years of prior experience since 1979 , operating on Pan India basis and Internationally in Americas and EMEA, helmed by Pratik Vaidya ,  is a leading giant in payroll management, compliance and governance, human resource services, professional employment staffing and on boarding, recruitment and talent acquisition, advisory and consultations thereby offering a plethora of services with quick turn-around solutions including in-house flagship AI/ML based tech solutions so as to help organizations of different types and stature to perform better in Human Resource ensuring Risk Management, Compliance and Governance across Environmental, Social and Corporate laws and grow bigger.

So in this regard, besides the business profile of Karma relating to labour laws, it will now focus whole time also on legal and para legal issues and matters with the collaboration of Sundeep Puri & Associates who are already into legal matters such as disputes, litigation, arbitration, layoffs, retrenchment, and court cases.


Madras High Court – A Woman Cannot Be Forced to Swing Between Motherhood and Employment!

A woman is not a pendulum – “The act of the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNST) in depriving the maternity leave is ex facie bad in law!


Background of the case:

A woman is not a pendulum and cannot be forced to swing between motherhood and employment, the Madras High Court has said, rapping a State Transport Corporation for denying maternity leave to a woman employee.

The act of Tamil Nadu State Corporation (TNSTC) in depriving the maternity leave and other benefits to its woman employee is ex facie bad in law and has no legs to stand and should vanish, a division bench of Justice S Vaidyanathan and Mohammed Shaffiq said.

The Court passed the order while dismissing an appeal moved by the transport corporation against a single judge order dated January 31, 2022, directing the corporation to provide the benefits to B. Rajeshwari, an Assistant Engineer recruited on temporary basis.

According to Rajeshwari, she joined on October 29, 2013 and was on regular probation period.  On successful completion of training, she was asked to report for work as Assistant Engineer with effect from October 31, 2013.

She got married on June 12, 2013 prior to her appointment in the transport corporation and pursuant to her advanced stage of pregnancy, she continued her training till March 18, 2014.  Though she applied for maternity leave for 180 days from March 19, 2014 to July 19, 2014 and July 20, 2014 to September 14, 2014, she was only granted leave on loss of pay.

After making several representations seeking to grant maternity leave, she moved the high court challenging the rejection order.  Allowing her plea, the Court directed the corporation to grant her maternity leave within four weeks.

Challenging the order, the Corporation has moved the present appeal.  She contended that the audacity of depriving wages for the maternity period merely on a discriminatory treatment of permanent / temporary employment by the employer herein can be termed as an atrocious act and the beneficial legislation cannot be permitted to be interpreted in an irrational manner so as to escape from their liability in extension of maternity benefits to the writ petitioner.

In the process of development of a foetus, there would be several changes in the body of a woman, such as hormone change, increase in the total blood volume, weight gain and the full gestation period is 39 – 40 weeks and a woman has to sacrifice several things during fecundation.  The labour pain is measured by a mechanism / unit called dol and the woman experiences 57 of dol which is similar to 20 bones simultaneously getting fractured which a normal human being including a man, cannot bear.


Verdict and reasoning of the present case:

In the result, the impugned order dated 08.08.2014 passed by the second respondent is quashed. Consequently, there shall be a direction to the respondents to treat the petitioner’s maternity leave period from 19.03.2014 to 19.07.2014 and 20.07.2014 to 14.09.2014 as duty period for all purposes and pass appropriate orders, within a period of four weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order. The respondents shall also extend all the service and monetary benefits during the aforesaid period of maternity leave in their order.


The Writ Petition stands allowed, accordingly. No costs.


CONCLUSION –  The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations on 10th of December, 1948, set in motion the universal thinking that human rights are supreme and ought to be preserved at all costs.


The relevant portion of the said order reads as follows: –


The Maternity Benefit Act is a welfare registration, which intends to extend benefits to the employees who avail maternity leave, without loss of any service benefits, including seniority. While dealing with this aspect, the Hon’ble Supreme Court, in the Female Workers’ (Muster Roll) case (supra), had observed that such benefits which are enshrined in the Convention on Discrimination against Women, should be read into the contract of the services between the employer and the women employees. The relevant portion of the decision reads as follows: –

Delhi is the capital of India. No other City or Corporation would be more conscious than the City of Delhi that India is a signatory to various International covenants and treaties. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations on 10th of December, 1948, set in motion the universal thinking that human rights are supreme and ought to be preserved at all costs. This was followed by a series of Conventions. On 18th of December, 1979, the United Nations adopted the “Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against women”. Article 11 of this Convention provides as under: –


States/ Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the field of employment in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, the same rights, in particular;

  1. The right to work as an inalienable right of all human beings;
  2. The right to the same employment opportunities, including the application of the same criteria for selection in matters of employment;
  3. The right to free choice of profession and employment, the right to promotion, job security and all benefits and conditions of service and the right to receive vocational training and retraining, including apprenticeships, advanced vocational training and recurrent training;
  4. The right to equal remuneration, including benefits, and to equal treatment in respect of work of equal value, as well as equality of treatment in the evaluation of the quality of work;
  5. The right to social security, particularly in cases of retirement, unemployment, sickness, invalidity and old age and other incapacity to work, as well as the right to paid leave.
  6. The right to protection of health and to safety in working conditions, including the safeguarding of the function of reproduction.


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This blog has been collated and compiled by the internal staff of Karma Global with the knowledge and expertise that they possess, besides adaptation, illustration, derivation, transformation, collection as well as auto generation from various sources, for its monthly newsletter Issue 11 of May 2023 and in case of specific or general information or compliance updates for that matter, kindly reach out to the Marketing Team – /


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