It does not get more ironic than this. More than 40 pregnant ad hoc senior resident doctors - 11 in their ninth month of pregnancy - at the All Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) have been denied maternity leave.
One of them had to take casual leave to deliver her baby on Thursday.
"Why are we being denied the leave when everyone else gets six months of maternity leave, apart from childcare leave?" said a senior resident doctor from the gynaecology department, on condition of anonymity.
"If any one of us develops complications during pregnancy, we have no extra leaves to bank on," she added.
Nearly 150 resident doctors are working in the hospital on an ad hoc basis because no regular appointments have been made between 2009 and March 2011 following a court order.
Hired on a one-month contract, the tenure of these doctors was automatically extended every month.
In the recent regular recruitment process at the hospital, it was decided to extend their tenure up to three years before making them permanent.
The hospital authorities blame it on "misinterpretation of rules" among junior administrative officials.
"The matter has been resolved. As these doctors were hired on a monthly basis due to the court order, they (hospital authorities) wondered how could they sanction maternity leave to someone hired for a month," said Vineet Chawdhry, deputy director administration, AIIMS.
"But we've decided that all the doctors who have been working on an ad hoc basis for a longer period are entitled to leave as per rule," Chawdhry added.
"Though the order has not been officially issued yet, the decision in this regard has been taken," he said.
The doctors recently submitted a 200-page memorandum to AIIMS director, as only resident doctors are facing this problem amongst 260 adhoc female employees working at various grades in the hospital.
"We have checked all the laws and even consulted a lawyer, and maternity leave cannot be denied," said Dr Debjyoti Karmakar, president, resident doctors' association, AIIMS.