In the matter of State of H.P. V. Sita Devi The State of Himachal Pradesh filed a Writ Petition in opposition to the Himachal Pradesh Administrative Tribunal’s Order granting the respondent the benefits of deemed maternity leave and, as a result, the conferral of work-charge status after completing eight years of service. In the current case, the Tribunal had made a ruling stating that, for purposes of Section 25(B)(1) of the Industrial Dispute Act, the respondent’s maternity leave would be considered to have been continuous service. The respondent’s application before the Tribunal was granted, and the State, the current petitioner, was instructed to consider the respondent’s request for the awarding of work charge status upon completion of 8 years of service within two months. So, the State filed the present case with the Court after being displeased with the Tribunal’s Order.
Analysis of Court Decision
Justices Virender Singh and Tarlok Singh Chauhan of the Himachal Pradesh High Court’s Division Bench dismissed the State’s plea and ruled that the respondent’s right to maternity leave is a fundamental one that cannot be restricted.
The court stated that the respondent in the current case could not have been forced to perform hard labour because it would have been harmful to her health and safety as well as the health, safety, and development of her unborn child. The respondent in the case was a daily wage woman employee at the time of the advanced pregnancy, the court noted. The Court further ruled that the respondent’s right to maternity leave is a fundamental one that the State was not permitted to violate. The Court concluded that the State-petitioner’s actions violated Articles 29 and 39-D of the Constitution as a result. The petition was thus denied by the court.