Bombay HC restrains city civic body from sacking doctor-teacher on maternity leave

In March this year, Bose wrote to the hospital's deputy superintendent seeking maternity leave from April for a period of six months as her delivery was due last month
Bose is an MBBS and MS in obstetrics and gynaecology
As per the hospital, Bose could avail only seven days leave(Pic: EdexLive Desk)

The Bombay High Court (HC) on Tuesday, May 21, restrained the city civic body from terminating the services of a doctor, appointed as a teacher on contract at a corporation-run hospital, for taking maternity leave beyond what was permitted to her.

A vacation bench of Justices Arif Doctor and Somasekhar Sundaresan said the civic authorities should be reasonable in their approach towards the issue.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) assured the HC that no "precipitative action" would be taken against the woman as far as her termination was concerned until her plea is heard next month.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by Seemantani Bose challenging a decision taken by the Bhabha Hospital authorities saying she was not eligible for the mandated six-month maternity leave as she was a contractual employee.

As per the hospital, Bose could avail only seven days leave.

The bench on Tuesday said it would hear the plea on June 12 and added that until then the BMC authorities should be reasonable in their approach and not take any action against her.

The HC recorded the statement of the civic body's advocate, Prashant Kamble, that no "precipitative action" would be taken against Bose as far as her termination was concerned until the plea is heard in June.

The court also asked the BMC to release her dues.

"We make it clear that all entitlements of the petitioner, if due in accordance with law, shall be paid over to the petitioner, and pendency of this petition shall not come in the way," the bench said.

Bose's plea

Bose, an MBBS and MS in obstetrics and gynaecology, was appointed as a teacher-junior consultant at the Bhabha Hospital on December 1, 2023.

Her plea, filed through advocate Swaraj Jadhav, contended that Bose was appointed on a contract basis for six months on a post which had a provision for automatic renewal of employment on expiry of that period unless communicated otherwise.

In March this year, Bose wrote to the hospital's deputy superintendent seeking maternity leave from April for a period of six months as her delivery was due last month.

The deputy superintendent, however, told her she could go on maternity leave without pay since she is working on a contractual basis.

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