CJI Chandrachud sees ‘detrimental’ side to menstrual leave petition: ‘Women will be shunned…’

The Supreme Court raised concerns about the potential negative impact of mandating menstrual leave for women, stating it could lead to women being shunned from the workforce.

Livemint
First Published8 Jul 2024, 06:55 PM IST
CJI Chandrachud sees ‘detrimental’ side to menstrual leave petition: ‘Women will be shunned…’
CJI Chandrachud sees ‘detrimental’ side to menstrual leave petition: ‘Women will be shunned…’(PTI)

The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Centre to frame a model policy on menstrual leave for women employees. A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, however, noted that such a facility could prove ‘detrimental’ to women under certain circumstances.

“Mandating such leaves will lead to women being shunned from the workforce. We do not want that what we try to do to protect women can act to their disadvantage. This is actually a government policy aspect and not for the courts to look into,” the apex court said.

The SC, however, permitted the petitioner to move the relevant authorities to frame a model policy on menstrual leave for women employees by holding consultations with states and other stakeholders. The Court made it clear that the consultation process of the Centre will not come in the way of states if they take any steps in this regard.

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“We request the secretary to look into the matter at the policy level and take a decision after consulting all stakeholders and see if a model policy can be framed,” it ordered.

The top court had earlier disposed of a plea seeking menstrual pain leave for women students and working women across the country. At the time, it had said that a representation could be made to the Centre as the issue fell under the policy domain.

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Several well-known companies in India — including food aggregator platforms Swiggy and Zomato — have made headlines in recent years after introducing period leaves for relevant employees. More recently, in May, the Sikkim High Court registry introduced a menstrual leave policy for female employees.

Former Union Minister Smriti Irani had ruffled many feathers in December 2023 after insisting that menstruation was not a ‘handicap’ that warranted a specific policy for paid leave.

“We should not propose issues where women are denied equal opportunities just because somebody who does not menstruate has a particular viewpoint towards menstruation,” the then Women and Child Development Minister had told Parliament in response to a query.

(With inputs from agencies)

 

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First Published:8 Jul 2024, 06:55 PM IST
HomeNewsIndiaCJI Chandrachud sees ‘detrimental’ side to menstrual leave petition: ‘Women will be shunned…’

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