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Supreme Court makes crucial comments on mandatory period leave for women!

A petition was filed in the Supreme Court to make period leaves for women mandatory. It has been dismissed by the apex court but while doing so

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 A petition was filed in the Supreme Court to make period leaves for women mandatory. It has been dismissed by the apex court but while doing so the bench made some very important remarks pertaining to the petition. It said, “A very good idea indeed, granting period leave to women”. But at the same time it showed concerns that making it a rule would become an impediment in their next prospects. It is a policy decision as to how far and to what extent to grant such leaves, the Supreme Court said, adding it cannot interfere in this issue.

Presently, only two states in the country have a period leave policy. The petition before the Supreme Court was to make this leave mandatory in all states. The bench, headed by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, was hearing the petition which it dismissed while making some key observations. It held that period leave would “no doubt” enable women to work with greater vigor, but under compulsion of mandatory leave, employers may not appoint women, which may affect the future employment opportunities of women. The court felt that this kind of mandate could deprive opportunities for employment to women.

The Supreme Court said that decisions taken for the benefit of women should not prove to be a hindrance for them. It clarified that it does not want such an outcome. Noting that this was a policy matter, the court went on to say that it could not interfere. It wanted the central government to take up the matter with the states for the formulation of a framework. It also added that the petitioner should draw the attention of the Ministry of Women and Child Development to this issue.

So far, the period leaves have been availed only in the states of Bihar and Kerala. The government of Bihar has given two days of period leave to the women since the year 1992. The government of Kerala recently declared a three-day period of leave for female students of the state. A similar petition was filed in February, but the apex court declined to hear the plea.

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