Woman who had twins via surrogacy given leave

Woman who had twins via surrogacy given leave

Context:

The Central Administrative Tribunal has come to the aid of a woman, working in the Ministry of Law & Justice, who was denied maternity leave as she had begotten her children through surrogacy.

Backdrop

  • The woman had entered into Gestational Surrogacy Agreement with another woman.
  • The surrogate mother delivered twins on February 13 last year.
  • Being the biological mother she applied for grant of 180 days maternity leave to her with effect from the day the babies were born.
  • However, her application was rejected on the ground that according to Central Civil Services (CCS) Leave Rules, maternity leave cannot be granted to a government servant on getting baby through surrogacy.
  • The woman then moved the Tribunal seeking to quash the order denying her the maternity leave.

Argument by the Ministry

  • Responding to her plea, the Ministry had defended its decision to deny the maternity leave saying the issue has been dealt within Rule 43 of CCS (Leave) Rules
  • The rules make it absolutely clear that a commissioning mother or biological mother is not entitled for grant of maternity leave.

Tribunal’s Judgement:

The Tribunal has directed the Ministry to sanction 180 days of maternity leave to the woman citing three High Court verdicts which held that the commissioning mother is also entitled for grant of maternity leave.

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