NEW DELHI: The department of personnel and training (DoPT) has instructed all Central ministries and departments to implement a 2015 order of the Delhi High Court for granting maternity leave to female employees who chooses to have a child by commissioning a surrogacy. Such leave would include both the pre-natal and post-natal period.
The Delhi HC had in July 2015 pronounced a judgment on plea by a Kendriya Vidyalaya teacher who had a pair of twins through a surrogate mother but was denied the 180-day maternity leave on the ground that she was not the biological mother.
Reasoning that the commissioning mother is the legal mother of the child, HC laid down guidelines and filled a vacuum in law since the Centre or state governments have no maternity benefit policy for women employees who opt to have children through a surrogate pregnancy.
As instructed by the court, the commissioning mother would be entitled to apply for maternity leave under sub rule (1) of Rule 43 of CCS (Leave) Rules. The competent authority would decide the timing and period for which the maternity leave is to be granted to the commissioning mother, based on material placed before it.