The Madras High Court in a ruling on Monday had said that a female government employee who gives birth to two or more babies in her first delivery would not be entitled to maternity benefits such as paid leaves during her second delivery, The Hindu reported on Tuesday.

The first Division Bench of the court led Chief Justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi had taken a contradictory view to rulings by single judges regarding extending 180 days of paid maternity leave for female employees during their second delivery after having given birth to more than one child during the first.

Sahi stressed the words “with less than two surviving children” of the Central Civil Services (Leave) Rules of 1972. He further said that the rules focused on the number of children and not the number of deliveries according to the report.

The judgment was passed contradictory to an order by a single judge on June 18, 2019, for granting 180 days paid maternity leave to M. Asiya Begum, a Sub Inspector in Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), for her second delivery in 2017. She had given birth to twins during her first delivery in 2015 according to media reports.

Earlier, single judges interpreted the rule to extend maternal benefits to women based on the number of deliveries irrespective of the number of children citing “ridiculous results” otherwise. For instance, one of the judges asked if a woman should be disqualified if she delivered twins or triplets in her second delivery, the report said.

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