"Menstrual Pain Leave" PIL filed in Supreme Court

A Public Interest Litigation(PIL) was filed before the Hon'ble Apex Court of India wherein The petitioner has urged for the introduction of menstrual pain leave or period leave for female students and working women throughout India and for directions to effectively implement Section 14 of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, which deals with the appointment of inspectors.

The petition titled  [Shailendra Mani Tripathi v. Union of India and Ors.] drawn by Advocate Shailendra Mani Tripathi and filed through advocate Abhigya Kushwaha Supreme Court Of India wherein the Petitioner has urged the Apex Court to issue directions to State governments to frame rules for menstrual pain leaves.
The Petition further submits that Menstrual periods have been knowingly or unknowingly ignored by society, the legislature, and other stakeholders, except for a few organizations and State governments, the petition contended. On this aspect, the petitioner said that some Indian companies such as Ivipanan, Zomato, Byju's, Swiggy, Mathrubhumi, Magzter, Industry, ARC, FlyMyBiz and Gozoop do offer paid period leaves.

A plea was also sought for directions upon the Government to effectively implement Section 14 of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, which deals with the appointment of inspectors to implement the provisions of the said Act.

The petitioner further submitted Meghalaya is the only State to have implemented the Section 14 of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 as such the denial of menstrual pain leaves or period leaves to women in the remaining States amounts to a violation of their right to equality under Article 14 of the Constitution.

As per the petition-
"It is accordingly a violation of Article 14 inasmuch as this Act differentiates women in the name of federalism and state policies. Despite that women suffer from similar physiological and health issues during their menstrual cycles, they are being treated differently in different states of India. However, women, having one citizenship, i.e., of India, must be treated equally and shall be conferred with equal right."

Further, it was pointed out that while there were two private member Bills introduced in the Lok Sabha on related matters, which have already lapsed.

In this regard, the petition highlighted that in 2018, Dr. Shashi Tharoor had introduced the Women's Sexual, Reproductive and Menstrual Rights Bill which proposed that sanitary pads should be made freely available for women by public authorities on their premises.

Another  Bill,introduced in 2017 by Member of Parliament, Ninong Ering "Menstruation Benefits Bill", which sought to provide certain facilities to female employees during menstruation at the workplace. Although the Menstrual Benefits Bill of 2017 was again presented in 2022 on the first day of the Budget Session, the Legislative Assembly disregarded the same, viewing it as an unclean topic.

Further, it was highlighted that while the Delhi High Court had directed the Central government and the Delhi government to consider another PIL on menstrual leave as a representation, in which regard, Union Minister Smriti Irani had subsequently disclosed in a written reply before the Lok Sabha that, "Central Civil Service (Leave) Rules 1972 do not have any provisions for menstrual leave and presently there is no proposal under examination to include such leave There is a lack of legislative will to move forward in dealing with the concept of menstrual pain leave, in these rules."

The Petition also pointed out that other countries such as the United Kingdom, China, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, South Korea, Spain, and Zambia are already providing with menstrual pain leave in one form or another.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post