‘Will lead to women being shunned’: SC junks plea seeking menstrual leaves | India News

The Supreme Court (SC) has expressed concerns that mandating menstrual leave for women could have unintended negative consequences, such as their exclusion from the workforce. This matter, the court emphasised, is better suited for government policy rather than judicial intervention.

During a hearing on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) calling for the establishment of menstrual leave policies by the central and state governments, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud expressed concerns. “Mandating such leaves will lead to women being shunned from the workforce,” he said. “We do not want what we try to do to protect women to act to their disadvantage.

The court reiterated that this issue involves several policy considerations and should not be addressed by the judiciary. “This is a government policy aspect and not for the courts to look into,” the court said.

“We permit the petitioner to move the secretary in the Ministry of Women and Child Development and to Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati. 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 added.

The court further noted that this ruling does not prevent any state government from taking independent steps regarding menstrual leave.

The court had taken a similar stance earlier in February, dismissing a petition that sought directives for all states to frame rules for menstrual pain leave for women students and employees, citing the issue as falling within the policy domain.

Presently, only Bihar and Kerala have provisions for menstrual leave. Bihar offers a two-day leave policy for women employees, while Kerala provides three days leave for women students.

(With inputs from news agency)

First Published: Jul 08 2024 | 2:52 PM IST

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