Government servant, who has begotten child by surrogacy, entitled to maternity leave: Chhattisgarh HC
The Chhattisgarh HC in a recent judgment held that there cannot be any discrimination between a natural mother and a mother who has begotten child by surrogacy procedure and thus a female government servant, who has begotten a child by surrogacy, is entitled to avail maternity leave under Rule 38 of the Chhattisgarh Civil Services (Leave) Rules, 2010.
A Government servant approached the HC challenging the rejection of her application which was rejected on the ground that there is no provision to grant maternity leave to a female government servant who begets child by surrogacy procedure.
The court observed that the object of maternity leave is to protect the dignity of motherhood by providing for full and healthy maintenance of the woman and her child and it is intended to achieve the object of ensuring social justice to women. If maternity means motherhood, it would not be proper to distinguish between a natural and biological mother and a mother who has begotten a child through surrogacy.
Setting aside the order, the court said she is required to be treated as a mother with newborn babies and is entitled to the benefits of postnatal phase with effect from date of birth of children.
OUR TAKEEven though the women didnot herself give birth to the child but that doesnot change the fact that she will be the one who will taking care of the child all throughout. Right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India includes the right to motherhood and also the right of every child to full development. Thus this right cannot be taken away from anyone. Hence the decision of the court granting maternity leave to the Government servant who had children by surrogacy is justified and reasonable.
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