SC refuses to entertain PIL seeking menstrual leave for female students, working women

Supreme Court. Photo: File Image

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a PIL seeking a direction to all the states to frame rules for menstrual pain leave for female students and working women at their respective workplaces, observing that the issue falls under the policy domain of the government.

A bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud disposed of the petition and granted liberty to the PIL petitioner to approach the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development with a representation seeking a policy decision on the issue.

"This is a policy matter so we are not dealing with this...Having regard to the policy views, it would be appropriate if the petitioner approaches the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development. The petition is accordingly disposed of," said the bench which also comprised justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala.

During the brief hearing, the bench took note of the submissions of a law student, opposing the PIL, that if employers are compelled to grant menstrual pain leaves to women employees every month then it may dis-incentivise them from hiring them.

The court, however, said though the plea had raised some important points, but the issue being a policy related, it cannot entertain this.

The petition, filed by Delhi resident Shailendra Mani Tripathi through lawyer Vishal Tiwari, had sought a direction to the Centre and all the states for compliance of section 14 of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961.

Section 14 of the Act deals with appointment of inspectors and says appropriate governments may appoint such officers and may define the local limits of jurisdiction within which they shall exercise their functions under this law.

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