A division bench of the Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday vacated stay against 180-day maternity leave to contractual teachers working under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Authority (SSAA) in Punjab.
Another division bench had granted the interim stay in July 2013 after the SSAA had challenged the single-judge order that had given these teachers as much maternity leave as contractual teachers in the education department enjoyed.
Teacher Reena Singla had challenged the January 2013 order of the director general of school education (DGSE) that had restricted the days of maternity leave to the contractual SSA teachers to 90 before the single-judge bench order. The DGSE is also state project director of the SSAA.
The SSAA challenged the single-judge order before the division bench, arguing that the central government rules did not apply to the SSAA, Punjab, automatically; and based on it, the high court had then stayed the single-judge order.
The division bench of justice SK Mittal and justice HS Sidhu, before which the case was listed for hearing on Friday, vacated the stay after the teachers produced a letter from the Ministry of Human Resource Development to Punjab. Written in March 2013, the letter talks of similar service conditions in the SSAA and the education department. The counsel for the teachers had argued that once they were entitled to parity in the matter of service conditions with the education department teachers, they would be entitled to 180-day maternity leave obviously.