If women have a right to maternity leave, aren't men in every establishment entitled to paternity leave to take care of their wives and newborns, especially when the complicated caesarean operation is performed? Delhi High Court is set to decide on the issue.
The court on Friday issued notices to the Delhi government and an unaided public school in the Capital on a petition by Chander Mohan Jain challenging the deduction from his salary for the leave he took after his wife’s delivery. Justice V.K. Shali has directed that replies be filed by July 6.
Jain, a teacher with NK Bagrodia Public School in Rohini, had no other option but to take 15-day leave in December 2008 as his wife and child faced complications after the premature delivery.
When he got his salary for the month, he saw the school had deducted Rs 9,239. His leave application had been rejected stating the school had no provision for paternity leave. The period of his absence was considered as ‘loss of pay’.
Jain's counsel Ashok Aggarwal said every unaided school in the Capital was bound to provide paternity leave for a fortnight within 60 days before or after delivery.
He submitted that the Delhi Education Act and Rules say that the staff of unaided public schools shall be given salary, allowances, leave and other benefits equivalent to their counterparts in government schools.
The Centre had in 1999 notified that all its employees would get paternity leave for a fortnight. Following this, the Delhi government also notified the same for its employees as well as the staff of unaided public schools.
The petitioner urged the court to issue a declaration that the facility of paternity leave also applied to staff of unaided public schools.