The Madras High Court has directed the Tamil Nadu government to sanction maternity leave to a woman employee of the Educational Department for her third child from a second marriage.

Justice V. Parthiban ordered the state government to sanction maternity leave to K. Umadevi from October 11, 2021, to October 10, 2022, with full pay and all other benefits, including full attendance.

The order came on a writ petition filed by Umadevi, who sought to quash the order of the District Educational Officer of Dharmapuri district, dated August 28, 2021, not sanctioning the maternity leave, citing that a government servant is eligible for maternity leave only for two surviving children.

Umadevi had married Suresh in 2006 and the couple had two children but they got divorced in 2017 and the children were living with Suresh.

She then married Rajkumar after getting a divorce from Suresh, subsequently became pregnant, and applied for maternity leave.

Madras High Court.
Madras High Court.IANS

Justice Parthiban, in his order, cited a Government order issued on June 20, 2018, which extended the benefit of second delivery even if a government servant had given birth to twins earlier.

"The government has earlier recognized such extreme cases and this is one such case wherein as a fallout from the first marriage, the petitioner had to part with her children born out of her first marriage. Therefore it cannot be said that the petitioner is having two surviving children at all."

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"The court, therefore, holds that the petitioner is deemed to have not having two surviving children and hence, the court allows the women government employee to be given maternity leave with full payment."

It directed the government to sanction maternity leave for the period claimed as admissible within a period of two weeks.