MADRAS HIGH COURT – Can’t Deny Maternity Benefits On Technicalities, Woman Cannot Be Forced to Swing Between Motherhood and Employment
Contents News/Article Date: 16th January 2023
Relating to which Act: The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, and The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act 2017
Applicable to which State: Maternity Act and Rules are applicable to all States
Type: JUDGEMENT – Case Title: Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (Coimbatore) Ltd and another v. B Rajeswari Case No: WA. No.1692 of 2022
Pertains to: Establishments and Women Employees and in this particular instance, Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (Coimbatore) Limited
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Karma Global handles the obligations of all provisions contained in the labour acts and rules and in this instance while dismissing an appeal preferred by Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation against a single judge order directing the organization to pay maternity benefits to a temporary employee, the Madras High Court recently held that welfare legislation like the Maternity Benefits Act cannot be denied merely on the basis of technicalities.
Highlighting the importance of maternity benefits for women, Justice S Vaidyanathan and Justice Mohammed Shaffiq went on to observe that a woman must not be forced to swing between motherhood and work like a pendulum and that even in Hindu mythology, women who sacrificed their lives for their families were considered at par with God.
Subject: Can’t Deny Maternity Benefits On Technicalities, Woman Cannot Be Forced to Swing Between Motherhood and Employment: Madras High Court
For greater details, appended below is the complete news item
Maternity Benefits Cannot Be Denied On the Basis of Technicalities: Madras HC
The Madras High Court has ruled that welfare legislation like Maternity Benefits Act can’t be denied just because of technicalities.
Observing thus, the Bench of Justices S Vaidyanathan and Mohd Shaffiq dismissed the appeal filed by Tamil Nadu State Corporation against Single Judge’s order directing the organization to pay maternity benefits to a temporary employee.
As per the court, a woman must not be forced to swing between work and motherhood like a pendulum.
In the instant case, the petitioner was employed in the transport corporation as a temporary employee and was asked to go through mandatory training.
However, as the petitioner was pregnant she applied for maternity leave during the training period.
Even though the corporation granted maternity leave to the petitioner, it was without pay and the petitioner filed a writ petition against the same.
The single judge allowed the plea and directed the corporation to treat the petitioner’s leave period as a duty period and to provide her with all service and maternity benefits.
The corporation filed an appeal against the Single Judge’s order and argued that as per Transport Department’s GO, there is no provision of maternity leave during the training period.
It was also argued that even though the Maternity Benefits Act is a welfare legislation it can’t be extended to a person who does not fulfill the criteria of being an employee.
The Bench disagreed with the corporation’s contention and observed that the interpretation of welfare legislation cannot have a nullifying effect on the concerned benefits.
The court also relied on the Municipal Corporation of Delhi versus Female Workers and another wherein the Top Court held that female workers working on a casual basis or on a daily wage basis should be provided maternity benefits.
Accordingly, the court refused to interfere with the Single Judge’s order and ordered the corporation to release the amount within four months, or Rs 50k cost would be imposed on it.
Title: Tamil Nadu State Corporation Ltd and Another versus B Rajeshwari
Case No. WA No. 1692 of 2022