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Supreme Court agrees to hear plea seeking introduction of menstrual pain leave

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The Supreme Court has agreed to give a patient hearing to a public interest litigation (PIL) pertaining to menstrual pain leave for female students and working women across India.

The plea was mentioned before the Bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and has been listed  for hearing on February 24.

The petition was mentioned before the Court by advocate Vishal Tiwari, who advocated that menstrual periods have been largely disregarded by society, the government and other stakeholders, but some organizations and State governments have taken notice. 

The counsel cited examples of specifically mentioned companies such as Ivipanan, Zomato, Byju’s, Swiggy, Mathrubhumi, Magzter, Industry, ARC, FlyMyBiz, and Gozoop, who have come up with providing paid period leaves.

The petitioner has urged the Apex Court to direct state governments for establishing regulations for menstrual pain leave. 

The petition also asks for the effective implementation of Section 14 of the Maternity Benefit Act, which involves the appointment of inspectors to enforce the Act’s provisions. 

The petitioner argued that as per online research, it is only Meghalaya which has provided for the appointment of such officers via a 2014 notification.

On menstrual leave, it was submitted that Bihar is the only state at present which provides special menstrual pain leave as part of a 1992 policy. 

The petitioner also contended that the denial of menstrual pain leaves in the remaining states amounts to a violation of their right to equality under Article 14 of the Constitution. 

The advocate also apprised the court that there were two private member Bills introduced in the Lok Sabha on related matters, but unfortunately both Bills lapsed.

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