The Supreme Court agreed to hear a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on Wednesday, requesting that all State governments be instructed to establish policies for menstrual pain leaves for female students and working-class women at their respective places of employment and compliance with Section 14 of the Maternity Benefit Act of 1961.
After attorney Shailendra Mani Tripathi brought up the issue and requested an early hearing of the case, a bench presided over by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud scheduled the matter for hearing on February 24.
The Maternity Benefit Act of 1961, according to the petition, addresses nearly all of the issues that women encounter when they get pregnant. According to the Act’s provisions, companies must provide paid leave to their women employees for a set number of days during pregnancy, in the event of a miscarriage, for a tubectomy procedure, as well as in the event of illness or medical difficulties related to these stages of motherhood.
Ironically, the most discouraging factor in the direction of respecting the rights of working women is that no government in India has established the post of inspectors, forget about the appointment of such inspectors, the petition said.
Section 14 of the Maternity Benefit Act stipulates that there will be an inspector for a specific area to monitor the implementation of such great provisions. The petition emphasised that these Maternity Benefit Act provisions are one of the greatest efforts taken by Parliament or the country’s citizens to recognise and honour working women’s pregnancy and maternity.