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News :- Denying Maternity Leave Infringes Fundamental Human Right & Violates Articles 29 and 39D : Himachal Pradesh High Court.

  • The High Court of Himachal Pradesh has made an important decision regarding maternity leave, stating that it is a basic right for women.
  • The court emphasized the importance of protecting the dignity of motherhood and ensuring fairness for women, motherhood, and childhood.
  • A petition challenging the provision of maternity leave benefits to a daily wage worker was dismissed by the bench, which consisted of Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Virender Singh.
  • The case centered around a respondent who was denied the benefits of work-charge status because she did not meet the minimum requirement of working 240 days per year. However, the benefit of deemed maternity leave was granted to her by the H.P. Administrative Tribunal, fulfilling the minimum requirement and associated benefits.
  • The State challenged this decision in the current petition.
  • After carefully considering the arguments, the High Court thoroughly examined various conventions, treaties, and constitutional provisions.
  • The bench referred to Article 25(2) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which emphasizes the need for special care and assistance for both motherhood and childhood.
  • Additionally, the court highlighted that under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, all female and male employees, regardless of their appointment basis, have the fundamental right to a reasonable duration of maternity leave, paternity leave, and child care leave (CCL) as stated in Article 42.
  • The bench stressed that the respondent, who was a daily wage worker during her advanced pregnancy, should not have been forced to perform physically demanding labor.
  • Such a requirement would have not only endangered her health and safety but also compromised the well-being and growth of the child.
  • The court further emphasized that denying maternity leave to the respondent, which is considered a fundamental human right, was a violation of Articles 29 and 39D of the Indian Constitution.
  • As a result, the High Court dismissed the petition, firmly stating that female employees, regardless of their employment capacity, are entitled to maternity leave on an equal basis with regular employees.
  • The court strongly upheld the belief that maternity leave plays a crucial role in ensuring the well-being of women and their children, as well as striving for fairness for women, motherhood, and childhood.

Articles 29 and 39D of the Indian Constitution are important provisions that aim to protect and promote the rights of individuals in India.

Article 29 of the Indian Constitution focuses on the protection of the cultural and educational rights of citizens. It states that any section of the population that has a distinct language, script, or culture has the right to conserve and develop it. This provision ensures that diverse cultural and linguistic groups in India can preserve their heritage and promote their languages and traditions.

On the other hand, Article 39D of the Indian Constitution deals with the principle of equal pay for equal work. It states that the state shall ensure equal pay for both men and women for work of equal value. This provision emphasizes the importance of gender equality in the workplace and aims to eliminate gender-based discrimination in terms of wages and remuneration.

Both of these articles play a significant role in protecting the rights and promoting the well-being of individuals in India. Article 29 safeguards the cultural diversity and heritage of different communities, while Article 39D ensures fairness and equal treatment in terms of pay and employment opportunities.

Overall, these constitutional provisions reflect the commitment of the Indian Constitution to uphold fundamental rights, promote equality, and protect the cultural diversity of the country.

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