Supreme Court’s direction: Central government should prepare a model policy on menstrual leave

The Uncut


A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Mishra said that this issue is related to policy. This is not an issue that the courts should consider. Apart from this, the bench also said that if the court decides to give such leave to women, then it can also have a negative impact because the company can avoid giving them work.

It can have a negative impact on women
The court asked the petitioner how the leave would encourage more women to be part of the workforce. At the same time, the bench said that making such leave mandatory would drive women away from the workforce. We do not want that.

He further said, ‘This is actually an aspect of government policy. There is no need for the courts to look into this.’

The case of the year 2023
The petitioner states that a representation was submitted to the Centre in May 2023. Since the issues raise diverse objectives of the state policy, there is no reason for this court to interfere in the light of our previous order. The bench, however, allowed advocate Rakesh Khanna, appearing for the petitioner and advocate Shailendra Tripathi, to appear before Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development and Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati.

The bench said in the order, ‘We request the Secretary to look into the matter at the policy level and take a decision after consulting all stakeholders. Also, we can see if an ideal policy can be formulated on menstrual leave.’

Apart from this, the court made it clear that if the state takes any step in this matter then the central government will not come in its way.

The apex court had earlier disposed of a petition seeking menstrual leave for women, students and working women across the country. The court had then said that since the matter falls in the policy realm, a representation can be made to the Centre. The senior lawyer said that till date no decision has been taken by the Centre.

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