Mumbai Local

Woman with surrogate child entitled to maternity leave: HC

The Bombay High Court on Monday directed Central Railway (CR) to grant three months maternity leave to its employee who became a mother by using a surrogate.

A Division Bench of Justice Anoop Mohta and Justice GS Kulkarni gave this verdict while hearing a petition filed by a nurse working at the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Railway Hospital in Byculla East. She moved court after CR refused to grant her leave on the grounds that CR had no rule that would allow her to take such a leave.

The court ruled that a mother enjoys the same benefits of maternity leave as any other working woman under the Child Adoption Leave and Rules. “There is nothing in the rules that disentitles maternity leave to a woman who has attained motherhood through surrogacy procedure,” the court added.

While challenging CR for disallowing her leave, the woman’s lawyers argued that if the maternity leave was refused, it would certainly violate the right of a child to develop a bond with the mother and would also not be compatible in the society.

The petitioner got married in 2004 and underwent IVF in 2007 on two occasions but lost her baby. In 2012, she was advised to have a child through surrogacy. When the surrogate mother completed 33 weeks, the petitioner applied for maternity leave in January 2014 as the baby was expected to be delivered in the first week of February.

The CR asked her if she had sought permission before opting for surrogacy. She replied saying she can claim maternity leave for surrogacy under the Indian Railway Establishment Board rules. However, she was not granted the leave.

— ( With PTI inputs)

The court said such a mother enjoys the same benefits as any other working woman

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 3:57:28 PM |

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