AGENCY NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Friday sought a response of the Delhi University on a plea which alleged that the varsity was not providing maternity leave to its ad hoc female professors. The petition, by a female professor of Aurbindo College here, contended that under the Maternity Benefit Act she was entitled to six months leave, but the varsity did not grant her the relief as she was not a permanent employee and was employed on an ad hoc basis. She also claimed that the Supreme Court had held that maternity benefits are available to all irrespective of the type of employment — permanent or contractual. Taking note of the submissions made by the petitioner, Justice Suresh Kait observed that according to the apex court judgement and the act, she was entitled to maternity leave and asked the lawyer for DU to take instructions on the issue. With the direction, the court listed the matter for further hearing on April 10. In her plea, the woman has claimed that she had sent several representations to the university since January 4 seeking grant of maternity leave as her expected date of delivery was February 22. However, no response was received from DU and meanwhile, she gave birth on February 3. Since then she has been on leave without pay as the varsity did not sanction her request for maternity leave, her lawyer told the court. DU’s lawyer told the court that her contract was renewed every four months and at present it stands expired on March 18. The lawyer also said it was a policy decision of the varsity to provide the benefit to only its permanent employees.
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