PA High Court upholds surrogate mother’s right to maternity leave

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AMARAVATI: The High Court of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh on Saturday ordered the government to grant maternity leave to a professor of medicine to care for her newborns born through surrogacy.

The bench of judge AP HC Ninala Jayasurya, during the adoption of the provisional orders, accused Rangaraya Medical officials of having refused maternity leave to Dr BVV Kiranmai where she works, to take care of her new twins- born because she was a surrogate mother. Her husband Undamatla Muralikrishna worked as an auditor in Kakinada. Dr BVV Kiranmai, who works as an associate professor at Rangaraya Faculty of Medicine in Kakinada. She had become a mother of twins in December through surrogacy. After being denied maternity leave for taking care of twins, she filed an application on 24e of December and sought the assistance of the court in this matter.

Her lawyer argued that denying maternity leave to a commissioning mother violates fundamental rights.

The government litigator asked the court to give a deadline to file a counter, which was refused by the judiciary. In its interim orders, the court authorized the authorization considering the case as a special case, adding that the duration of the authorization would be based on the final judgment. The case was released for a rehearing on February 3e.

In a similar case in March last year, the Himachal Pradesh high court said in an order that an employee cannot be denied maternity leave even if she has become a surrogate mother.

A division bench, comprising Judge Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Judge Sandeep Sharma, adopted the orders on the petition filed by a language teacher working under contract in Kullu District.

The Himachal Pradesh court observed that it is no longer res integra (an unprecedented case) that a contractual or ad hoc employee is entitled to maternity leave on the same basis as a regular employee for reasons of fair play and social justice and that there can be no discrimination.

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