In the case of Renuka v UGC, a request was made by a student asking the University Grants Commission for guidance in formulating particular guidelines for the provision of maternity leave for post-graduate and undergraduate courses. The woman had enrolled in a two-year M Ed regular course at Chaudhary Charan Singh University in December 2021. She presented the concerned Dean and Vice-Chancellor of the university with a request for maternity leave. She asked on February 28 but was turned down. After that, she went up to the UGC. She relocated the HC when she did not hear back.
Analysis of Court Order
A Master of Education student may grant maternity leave at Chaudhary Charan Singh University in Meerut if she meets the minimum attendance requirements, according to a directive from the Delhi High Court’s single-judge bench of Justice Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav.
Justice Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav’s single-judge panel of the Delhi High Court ruled that the Constitution envisioned an equal society in which people might express their rights and both society and the State would permit this manifestation. Therefore, no compromise was attempted within the framework of the Constitution. The right to learn and the freedom to exercise reproductive autonomy could not be pushed onto the populace.
The court ruled that in this situation, it must decide between two possible courses of action. It can either adhere to a legal provision’s bare text, get bogged down in its wording, ignore its repercussions, or let it run its course. The alternative route entails showing consideration for the person involved in the conflict, adopting the principles outlined in the Constitution, and making reasonable efforts to adapt areas of the law that fall short of societal advancement.
The student had requested a 59-day maternity leave, and the HC noted that if this time is counted towards the student’s 80 per cent attendance requirement for theoretical classes, the student would be eligible for the leave. According to the court, doing this would guarantee that the petitioner’s right is protected without jeopardising the standards that must be upheld by the educational institution. Because of this, the court determined that it was appropriate, given the circumstances of the case, to order the respondent University to take the petitioner’s request for the grant of 59 days of leave into account when calculating her attendance for 80% of theory classes. After taking into account the 59 days of maternity leave, the HC stated that if the student meets the minimum 80% attendance requirement in theory classes, “let the appropriate steps to allow the petitioner to appear in the examination be taken by the respondent University without any delay.