Allahabad High Court: Maternity leave for girls in higher education institutions with the historic decision of the High Court

Summary

The court held in the case that the petitioner had deviated from the examination due to lack of rules, law or any other system relating to maternity leave and related benefits for undergraduate and postgraduate girls in universities and colleges.

Allahabad High Court
– Photo: Amar Ujala

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Maternity leave and all related benefits are now available to graduate and postgraduate girls in higher education institutions. The Allahabad High Court in this case gave a historic decision during the hearing and set up a new system for universities and colleges regarding maternity leave and related facilities for undergraduate and postgraduate girls. A single division bench comprising Justice Ajay Bhanot heard the petition filed by Soumya Tiwari.

The court held in the case that the petitioner had deviated from the examination due to lack of rules, law or any other system relating to maternity leave and related benefits for undergraduate and postgraduate girls in universities and colleges. The court, which found the girl student a violation of fundamental rights, directed Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University Lucknow to give the girl an extra chance to appear for the exam.

In addition, the court directed the Technical University to formulate rules for maternity leave and all related benefits for undergraduate and postgraduate girls, in which arrangements should be made to give them additional opportunity to pass the examination. The court said the technical university must comply with its orders within four months.

It was also said that the girl students would submit representation to the Technical University. The university should give the girl student an extra chance to take the test on that representation. Lawyers Uday Narayan and Lal Dev appeared for the petitioner. The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the respondent in the case, did not oppose granting maternity benefit to the petitioner in its counter affidavit.

Said the single bench

The university has legally neglected to provide maternity benefits to expectant mothers and new mothers. The girls lost their maternity benefits as the university failed to perform its legal duties. This inertia of the university shows its sensitivity to the plight of pregnant girls, undermines the rule of law and distorts the ideal of holistic education. Exclusion of the University does not justify the violation of the fundamental right of the petitioner (Articles 14 and 15 (3) of the Constitution.) – Justice Ajay Bhanot

What’s the point?
Petitioner Soumya Tiwari is a student of B.Tech Krishna Institute of Technology (affiliated to Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University Lucknow) in Kanpur. She did not attend the regular university exams as she was in labor. Although she was given two extra chances to appear for the university exam, she was unable to take advantage of the extra chance due to postpartum problems. She gave birth to a baby on December 22, 2020.

After a full recovery, he stated his difficulties and requested the University Administration for an additional opportunity to write the test, but the college management did not accede to this demand. The university administration refused to give him an extra chance. According to the Uttar Pradesh Technical University Act-2000 Ordinance, there is no provision for granting maternity leave or exemption to pregnant women and new mothers. The student filed a petition in the Allahabad High Court.

Orders have been issued to the Ministry of Education and the UGC

During the hearing, the court, on behalf of the Ministry of Education, the Department of Higher Education, the UGC Department and the UGC, issued a letter to all higher education institutions, universities and colleges directing them to formulate regulations relating to maternity leave and benefits. That is. Huh.

The Central Government issued directions during the inquiry
The Central Government and the UGC (University Grants Commission) were not involved in the petitioner’s petition, but during the hearing, the court directed that both the Central Government and the UGC be kept as parties. Following this, the court also sought answers from the Central Government and the UGC in this regard. During the hearing, advocate Paras Nath Roy, appearing for the central government, told the court that the central government had issued directions on December 13 and the UGC had issued directions to all higher education institutions on December 14. The court appreciated the attitude of the Central Government in recording it and incorporating it in its decision.

Range

Maternity leave and all related benefits are now available to graduate and postgraduate girls in higher education institutions. The Allahabad High Court in this case gave a historic decision during the hearing and set up a new system for universities and colleges regarding maternity leave and related facilities for undergraduate and postgraduate girls. A single division bench comprising Justice Ajay Bhanot heard the petition filed by Soumya Tiwari.

The court held in the case that the petitioner had deviated from the examination due to lack of rules, law or any other system relating to maternity leave and related benefits for undergraduate and postgraduate girls in universities and colleges. The court, which found the girl student a violation of fundamental rights, directed Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University Lucknow to give the girl an extra chance to appear for the exam.

In addition, the court directed the Technical University to formulate rules for maternity leave and all related benefits for undergraduate and postgraduate girls, in which arrangements should be made to give them additional opportunity to pass the examination. The court said the technical university must comply with its orders within four months.

It was also said that the girl students would submit representation to the Technical University. The university should give the girl student an extra chance to take the test on that representation. Lawyers Uday Narayan and Lal Dev appeared for the petitioner. The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the respondent in the case, did not oppose granting maternity benefit to the petitioner in its counter affidavit.

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