Friday, February 5, 2016

Woman employee of the Central Government can avail uninterrupted 730 days of Child Care Leave

7:00 PM

           Woman employee of the Central Government can avail uninterrupted 730 days of Child Care Leave – Hon’ble Supreme Court decides in favour of Woman Government Employee whose CCL was restricted to 45 days

Issue in Brief :

The Woman Employee concerned applied for Child Care Leave for period of 6 months intitially to take care of her son who was in 10th Std. While her request for CCL was pending she applied for CCL for a period 2 years, which was restricted by the Department to 45 days. Aggrieved by this order she approached CAT where she got favourable orders. However, Department filed an appeal against the order of CAT before Hon’ble High Court, the case which was allowed by Hon’ble High Court in favour of Department by observing the CCL can not be claimed as matter of right. Now in the Civil Appeal filed by the woman employee against the judgement of High Court, Hon’ble Supreme Court has decided that Woman employee of the Central Government can avail 2 years of Child Care Leave without any break.


                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                        CIVIL APPEAL NO. 4506 OF 2014

                 (arising out of SLP (C) No. 33244 of 2012)

KAKALI GHOSH                                             … APPELLANT



           J U D G M E N T

Sudhansu Jyoti Mukhopadhaya, J.

         Leave granted.

2.       This appeal has been  directed  against  the  judgment  dated  18th
September, 2012 passed by the High Court of Calcutta, Circuit Bench at  Port
Blair.  By the impugned judgment, the Division Bench of  the  Calcutta  High
Court allowed the writ petition and set aside the judgment and  order  dated
30th April, 2012 passed by the  Central  Administrative  Tribunal  Calcutta,
Circuit Bench at Port Blair (hereinafter referred to as, ‘the Tribunal’).

3.       The only question which requires to be determined  in  this  appeal
is  whether  a  woman  employee  of  the  Central  Government  can  ask  for
uninterrupted 730 days of Child Care Leave (hereinafter referred to as, -
‘the CCL’)  under Rule 43-C of the  Central Civil  Services  (Leave)  Rules,
1972 (hereinafter referred to as, ‘the Rules’).

4.       The appellant initially applied for CCL for six  months  commencing
from 5th July, 2011 by her letter dated 16th May, 2011 to take care  of  her
son who was in 10th standard.  In her application, she  intimated  that  she
is the only person to look after her minor son and her  mother  is  a  heart
patient and has not recovered from the shock due to  the  sudden  demise  of
her  father;  her  father-in-law  is  almost  bed   ridden   and   in   such
circumstances, she was not in a position to perform her duties  effectively.
While her application was pending, she was transferred to Campbell  Bay  in
Nicobar District (Andaman and Nicobar) where she joined on 06th July,  2011.
By her subsequent letter  dated  14th  February,  2012  she  requested  the
competent authority to allow her to avail CCL for two years commencing  from
21st May, 2012.  However, the authorities allowed only 45  days  of  CCL  by
their Office Order No. 254 dated 16th March, 2012.

5.        Aggrieved  appellant  then  moved  before  the  Tribunal  in  O.A.
No.47/A&N/2012 which allowed the application  by  order  dated  30th  April,
2012 with following observation:-
      “12. Thus O.A. is allowed.  Respondents are  accordingly  directed  to
      act  strictly  in  accordance  with  DOPT  O.M.  dated  11.9.2008   as
      amended/clarified on 29.9.2008 and 18.11.2008, granting  her  CCL  for
      the due period.  No costs.”

6.       The order passed by the  Tribunal  was  challenged  by  respondents
before the Calcutta High Court which by impugned judgment  and  order  dated
18th September, 2012 while observing that  leave  cannot  be  claimed  as  a
right, held as follows:

          “It is evident from the provisions of sub r.(3) of r.43-C  of  the
      rules that CCL  can  be  granted  only  according  to  the  conditions
      mentioned in the sub-rule, and that one of the conditions is that  CCL
      shall not be granted for more than three spells in  a  calendar  year.
      It means that CCL is not to be granted for a  continuous  period,  but
      only in spells.

          From the provisions of sub r.(3) of r.43-C of the rules it is also
      evident that a spell of CCL can be for as less as 16 days.  This means
      that in a given case a person, though  eligible  to  take  CCL  for  a
      maximum period of 730 days, can be granted CCL in three  spells  in  a
      calendar year for as less as 48 days.”

      The High Court further observed:
                  “Whether an eligible person should be granted CCL at  all,
      and, if so, for what period,  are  questions  to  be  decided  by  the
      competent authority; for the person is to  work  in  the  interest  of
      public service, and  ignoring  public  service  exigencies  that  must
      prevail over private exigencies  no leave can be granted.”

7.       Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that there  is  no  bar
to grant uninterrupted 730 days of CCL under Rule 43-C.  The High Court  was
not justified in holding that CCL can  be  granted  in  three  spells  in  a
calendar year as less as 48 days at a time.  It was also contended that  the
respondents failed to record ground to deny uninterrupted CCL  to  appellant
for the rest of the period.

8.       Per contra, according to respondents, Rule  43-C  does  not  permit
uninterrupted CCL for 730 days as held by the High Court.

9.       Before we proceed to discuss the merits or otherwise of  the  above
contentions, it will be necessary for us to refer the relevant Rule and  the
guidelines issued by the Government of India from time to time.

10.      The Government of  India  from  its  Department  of  Personnel  and
Training vide O.M. No. 13018/2/2008-Estt. (L)  dated  11th  September,  2008
intimated that CCL can be granted for maximum period of 730 days during  the
entire service period to a woman government employee for taking care  of  up
to two children, relevant portion of which reads as follows:
      “(1) Child Care Leave for 730 days.

            Women  employees having minor children may be granted Child Care
      Leave by an authority competent to grant leave, for a  maximum  period
      of two years (i.e. 730 days) during their entire  service  for  taking
      care of up to two children, whether for rearing or to look  after  any
      of their needs like examination, sickness, etc. Child Care Leave shall
      not be admissible if the child is eighteen  years  of  age  or  older.
      During the period of such leave, the women  employees  shall  be  paid
      leave salary equal to the pay drawn immediately before  proceeding  on
      leave.  It may be availed of in more than one spell. Child Care  Leave
      shall not be debited against the leave account.  Child Care Leave  may
      also be  allowed  for  the  third  year  as  leave  not  due  (without
      production of medical certificate).  It may be combined with leave  of
      the kind due and admissible.”

11.      It was followed by Circular issued by Government of India from  its
Personnel  and Training Department vide O.M.  No. 13018/2/2008-  Estt.  (L),
dated   29th September,   2008   by  which    it    was    clarified    that

would  be also admissible to a  woman  government  employee  to  look  after
third child below 18 years of age, which is as follows:

          “(2) Clarifications:-
          The question as to whether child care leave  would  be  admissible
          for the third child below the age of 18 years  and  the  procedure
          for grant of child care leave have  been  under  consideration  in
          this Department, and it has now been decided as follows:-

         i)      Child  Care  Leave  shall  be  admissible  for  two  eldest
            surviving children only.

       ii)        The leave account for child care leave shall be maintained
           in the pro forma enclosed, and it shall be kept  along  with  the
           Service Book of the Government Servant concerned.”

12.      Rule  43-C  was  subsequently  inserted  by  Government  of  India,
Department of Personnel and Training, Notification No.  F.No.  11012/1/2009-
Estt. (L) dated 1st December, 2009, published  in  G.S.R.  No.  170  in  the
Gazette of India dated 5th December, 2009 giving effect from 1st  September,
2008 as quoted below:-

        “43-C. Child Care Leave
         1) A women Government servant having minor children below the  age
            of eighteen years and who has no earned leave  at  her  credit,
            may be granted child care leave by an  authority  competent  to
            grant leave, for a maximum period of two years, i.e.  730  days
            during the  entire  service  for  taking  care  of  up  to  two
            children, whether for rearing or to look  after  any  of  their
            needs like examination, sickness, etc.

         2) During the period of child care leave, she shall be paid  leave
            salary equal to the pay drawn immediately before proceeding  on

         3) Child care leave may be combined with leave of any other kind.

         4)  Notwithstanding  the  requirement  of  production  of  medical
            certificate contained in sub-rule (1) of Rule  30  or  sub-rule
            (1) of Rule 31, leave of the kind due and admissible (including
            commuted leave not exceeding 60 days and leave not due) up to a
            maximum of one year, if applied for, be granted in continuation
            with child care leave granted under sub-rule (1).

         5) Child care leave may be availed of in more than one spell.

         6) Child care  leave  shall  not  be  debited  against  the  leave

13.      On perusal of circulars and Rule 43-C, it is apparent that a  woman
government employee having minor children below 18 years can avail  CCL  for
maximum period of 730 days i.e. during the entire service period for  taking
care of upto two children.  The care of children  is  not  for  rearing  the
smaller child but also to look after any of their  needs  like  examination,
sickness etc.  Sub Rule (3) of Rule 43-C allows  woman  government  employee
to combine CCL with leave of any other kind.  Under Sub Rule (4) of Rule 43-
C leave of  the  kind  due  and  admissible  to  woman  government  employee
including commuted leave not exceeding 60  days;  leave  not  due  up  to  a
maximum of one year, can be applied for and  granted  in  continuation  with
CCL granted under Sub Rule (1).  From plain reading of  Sub  Rules  (3)  and
(4) of Rule 43-C it is clear that CCL even beyond 730 days  can  be  granted
by combining other leave if due. The finding of  the  High  Court  is  based
neither on Rule 43-C nor on guidelines issued  by  the  Central  Government.
The Tribunal was correct in directing the respondents  to  act  strictly  in
accordance with the guidelines issued by the Government of  India  and  Rule

14.      In the present case, the appellant claimed for 730 days of  CCL  at
a stretch to ensure success of her son in the  forthcoming  secondary/senior
examinations (10th/11th standard).  It is not in dispute that son was  minor
below 18 years of age when she applied for CCL.  This is apparent  from  the
fact that the competent authority allowed 45 days of CCL in  favour  of  the
appellant.  However, no reason has been shown  by  the  competent  authority
for disallowing rest of the period of leave.

15.      Leave cannot be claimed as of right as per Rule 7, which  reads  as

      “7. Right to leave
              (1) Leave cannot be claimed as of right.
             (2) When the exigencies of public service so require, leave  of
             any kind may be refused or revoked by the  authority  competent
             to grant it, but it shall not be  open  to  that  authority  to
             alter the kind of leave due  and  applied  for  except  at  the
             written request of the Government servant.”

         However, under Sub-Rule (2) of Rule  7  leave  can  be  refused  or
revoked by the competent authority in  the  case  of  exigencies  of  public

16.      In fact, Government of India from its Ministry of Home Affairs  and
Department of Personnel and Training all the time encourage  the  government
employees to take leave  regularly,  preferably  annually  by  its  Circular
issued by the Government  of   India   M.H.A.O.M.  No.  6/51/60-Ests.   (A),
dated   25th January,  1961,  reiterated  vide  Government  of

India letter dated 22/27th March, 2001.  As per those  circulars  where  all
applications for leave  cannot,  in  the  interest  of  public  service,  be
granted at the same time,  the  leave  sanctioning  authority  may  draw  up
phased programme for the grant of leave to the applicants by turn  with  due
regard to the principles enunciated under the aforesaid circulars.

17.      In the present case the respondents have not shown  any  reason  to
refuse 730 days continuous leave. The grounds taken by them and as  held  by
High Court cannot be accepted for the reasons mentioned above.

18.      For the reasons aforesaid,  we  set  aside  the  impugned  judgment
dated 18th September, 2012 passed by the Division  Bench  of  Calcutta  High
Court, Circuit Bench at Port Blair and affirm the judgment and  order  dated
30th April, 2012 passed by the Tribunal with a direction to the  respondents
to comply with the directions issued by the  Tribunal  within  three  months
from the date of receipt/production of this judgment.

19.      The appeal is allowed with aforesaid directions. No costs.



APRIL 15, 2014.

संबन्धित खबरों के लिए क्लिक करें

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