Madras High Court held that welfare legislation Maternity Benefits Act cannot be denied merely on the basis of technicalities

Madras High court

In this a writ petition was filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, challenging the order of the learned Single Judge dated 31.01.2022 made in W.P. No. 1754 of 2018 in which there is direction issued to the respondents/appellants herein to treat the writ petitioner’s maternity leave period from 19.03.2014 to 19.07.2014 and 20.07.2014 to 14.09.2014 as duty period for all purposes. The case was Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (Coimbatore) ltd and another V/S B Rajeswari [(Mad)15 2023] Case no.- W.A.No.1692 of 2022 The Judgment was reserved on 13.12.2022 and pronounced on 12.01.2023. The case was presided by THE HON’BLE MR.JUSTICE S.VAIDYANATHAN AND THE HON’BLE MR.JUSTICE MOHAMMED SHAFFIQ.

Facts of the Cases

  1. The original Writ petitioner was employed in the transport corporation as a temporary employee. She had to go through mandatory training period. Since she was pregnant she had to take Maternity leave and her maternity leave was granted by transport corporation but it was with a loss of pay.
  2. The writ petitioner employee went to the Court and the Court also allowed the same and the Single Judge directed the corporation to treat her leave period as duty period and also extended all service and Maternity benefits during its period.
  3. Upon the appeal in Madra High Court, the transport corporation contended that as per Government order passed by tye Transport Department in which there was no provision for eligible maternity leave during the training period. Only a non-permanent women employee who had completed 160 days of work in 12 months was eligible to claim maternity leave. Since, the petitioner had completed only 145 days of works , she was not eligible for maternity leave.


The Madras High Court however disagreed with this thought and said that interpretation of welfare legislation should not have the effect of nullifying the benefits.

The court relied on the decision of the APEX Court of the case Municipal Corporation of Delhi vs. FemaleWorkers (Muster-roll) and another Where SC held that female worker or daily wages workers should be given the Maternity Benefits.

The Court did not interfere in the judgment of the single bench and directed the corporation that they should pay the sum within 4 months and if not then they have to pay 50,000 of sum.

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