Maternity Leave Granted To Mother Who Begot Children Through Surrogacy: Rajasthan High Court

Posted On - 19 December, 2023 • By - King Stubb & Kasiva

The petitioner employee had begotten twins through surrogacy and had applied for maternity leave of 180 days. The said application was rejected by the state authorities, citing that there are no corresponding provisions in the Rajasthan Service Rules, 1951. The said order was challenged through S.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 7853/2020 before the Rajasthan High Court. The Hon’ble High Court instructed the state government to sanction maternity leave and consequential benefits to the petitioner. In arriving at its decision, the Hon’ble High Court placed reliance on the interpretation of “maternity benefit” and “child” under the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, definitions in general parlance and as enunciated by the courts of law from time to time. It further clarified that, for the purposes of granting maternity leave, a natural biological mother and mother who has begotten children through surrogacy cannot be differentiated. Further, it urged that the right of commissioning/surrogate mothers to avail maternity leave must be incorporated through appropriate legislation.