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Secondary Education

रांची- झारखंड हाईकोर्ट ने मैटरनिटी लीव को लेकर बड़ा फैसला दिया है, हाईकोर्ट ने अपने आदेश में कहा कि निजी कंपनियों में और अनुबंध पर काम करने वाली महिलाएं भी मैटरनिटी लीव की हकदार हैं। उन्हें इस सुविधा से वंचित नहीं किया जा सकता है।

न्यायमूर्ति डॉ एसएन पाठक की पीठ ने कहा कि मातृत्व अवकाश लाभ अधिनियम, 1961 की धारा 2 के तहत सभी प्रकार के संस्थानों में मातृत्व अवकाश लागू करने का प्रावधान है, संस्थान चाहे सरकारी हो या गैर सरकारी।Advertisements

दरअसल, याचिकाकर्ता सरिता कुमारी को वर्ष 2013 में बोकारो जिले के समाज कल्याण विभाग में प्रोटेक्शन ऑफिसर इंस्टीट्यूशन केयर (पीओआईसी) के पद पर नियुक्त किया गया था, वह 3 अक्टूबर 2019 से 30 मार्च 2020 तक मातृत्व अवकाश पर थीं।

सरिता को मातृत्व अवकाश की अवधि के लिए वेतन का भुगतान नहीं किया गया था। उन्होंने इस संबंध में संबंधित विभाग के साथ उपायुक्त को भी आवेदन दिया था, लेकिन कहीं कोई सुनवाई नहीं हुई, इसके बाद उन्होंने हाईकोर्ट में याचिका दायर की।


सरिता की ओर से कोर्ट में पेश हुए वकील ने कोर्ट को बताया कि कानून के मुताबिक प्राइवेट सेक्टर में काम करने वाली महिलाओं को अस्थायी और संविदा पर सवेतन मैटरनिटी लीव का लाभ देने का प्रावधान है, इसके बावजूद उनके मुवक्किल को वेतन नहीं दिया गया।

महिला कर्मचारी को दो सप्ताह में वेतन देने का आदेश

हाईकोर्ट ने दोनों पक्षों की दलीलें सुनने के बाद महिला कर्मचारी के पक्ष में फैसला सुनाया। कोर्ट ने याचिकाकर्ता को वेतन भुगतान के लिए उपयुक्त बोकारो में एक आवेदन जमा करने का निर्देश दिया।

साथ ही कहा कि दो सप्ताह के भीतर बकाया वेतन का भुगतान उपयुक्त करेंगे। बता दें कि साल 2017 में मैटरनिटी लीव बेनिफिट एक्ट ने मैटरनिटी लीव की अवधि को 12 से बढ़ाकर 26 हफ्ते कर दिया है।

उच्च न्यायालय ने अपने आदेश में कहा है कि अधिनियम की धारा दो और तीन के अनुसार, एक महिला को मातृत्व अवकाश के लाभ से वंचित नहीं किया जा सकता है, चाहे वह अनुबंध पर नियुक्त हो या किसी एजेंसी के माध्यम से।

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JHARKHAND AT RANCHIW.P. (S) No. 1124of 2021Sarita Kumari… Petitioner V E R S U S–1.The State of Jharkhand2.The Secretary-cum-Chairman, Jharkhand State Child Protection Unit, Women, Child Development and Social Security Department, Government of Jharkhand, Project Bhawan, Dhurwa, Ranchi3.The Director-cum-Member Secretary, Jharkhand State Child Protection Unit, Women, Child Development and Social Security Department, Government of Jharkhand, Project Bhawan, Dhurwa, Ranchi4.The District Social Welfare Officer, Bokaro5.The District Child Protection Officer, Bokaro… RespondentsCORAM: HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE DR S. N. PATHAK(Through : Video Conferencing) For the Petitioner: Mr. Shadab Bin Haque, AdvocateFor the Respondents:Mr. Achyut Keshav, GP-I——04/21.09.2021The petitioner has approached this Court with a prayer for a direction upon the respondents to pay the arrears of honorarium for the period from 03.10.2019 to 30.03.2020 in which the petitioner was on maternity leave. Further, prayer has been made to pay the litigation cost and interest upon delayed payment. The case of the petitioner lies in a narrow compass. The petitioner was appointed on 16.11.2013 on contractual basis to the post of Protection Officer Institutional Care (POIC), Bokaro and till date she is working. The petitioner applied for maternity leavebefore the District Social Welfare Officer and copy of the same has been given to Deputy Commissioner, Bokaro praying therein that to approve maternity leave from 03.10.2019 to 30.03.2020and the same was duly received in the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Bokaro as well as District Social Welfare Officer, Bokaro. After availing the maternity leave, the petitioner resumed her duties on 30.03.2020. It is specific case of the petitioner that she is continuously working and getting honorarium for the current month, but she has not been paid the honorarium for the aforesaid period of her 2maternity leave, therefore,she represented before the respondents, but no heed was paid. Aggrieved by the same, she has approached this Court for redressal of her grievances. Mr. Shadab Bin Haque, learned counsel for the petitioner submits that the petitioner is entitled for honorarium of the aforesaid period on which she was on maternity leave. He further submits that there cannot be any distinction between a regular employee, contractual employee and casual employee so far as grant of maternity benefit is concerned. The maternity leave was duly sanctioned to the petitioner and prior information was given to the authorities before leaving the station and as such, it cannot be said that it was an unauthorized leave. He further submits that when the contract of the employment of the petitioner is subsisting then the female employee, whatever be the mode and nature of the employment, is entitled to get the monetary benefits arising out of maternity leave. To buttress his argument, learned counsel places a heavy reliance on the judgment of this Court in case of Priyanka Kumari Vs. The State of Jharkhand in W.P.(S) No.2766 of 2018and submits that the issue is now no more res integra the case of the petitioner is squarely covered by the aforesaid case. On the other hand, no counter-affidavit has been filed. However, learned counsel for the respondents does not dispute the legal issues and very fairly submits that in view of the amendment in the Maternity Act, 2017,maternity leave of 12 weeks have been extended to 26 weeks and same is applicable for every working women.He further submits that if the petitioner files a fresh representation, same shall be considered, in accordance with law and the arrears of honorarium for the period in question, for which she is entitled, shall be paid to her as per direction of this Hon’ble Court. Be that as it may, having gone through the rival submissions of the parties, this Court is of the considered view that admittedly the petitioner was appointed on the contractual basis and is still in employment. There is no quarrel that petitioner being a female, is entitled for maternity benefits. Law is very clear on that point, Section 2 of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 deals with the applicability of such case(s) and it applies to all establishments belonging to the Government and to every establishment wherein person(s) are employed. Further, Section 3(O) of the Act defines a “woman”; which means a woman 3employed whether directly or through any agency, for wages in any establishment. Section 5 of the Act provides for right to payment of maternity benefits, which includes any women. Thus, from the aforesaid facts, it is quite clear that a woman employee cannot be discriminated on the basis of mode of appointment and each and every woman, who isan employee of any establishment, is entitled to get the maternity benefit, whatever be the mode of her appointment, subject to the condition that the contract of employment should subsist. Further, the issue is now no more res Integra, as a Co-ordinate Bench of this Court has already decided the issue in case of Priyanka Kumari (supra). As a cumulative effect of the aforesaid rules, guidelines and judicial pronouncement ,I hereby direct the petitioner to file a fresh representation before the respondents, claiming maternity leave benefit for the period in question, within a period of two weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order. After receipt of the same, the respondentauthorities are directed totake a appropriate decision, in accordance with law, within a further period of two weeks and issue orders for payment of the arrears of honorarium for the period in question on which she was on maternity leave and pay the same within a further period of two weeks. With the aforesaid observation and directions, writ petition stands allowed. (Dr. S.N. Pathak, J.) Punit/-

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