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Two-year childcare leave gets go-ahead

New Delhi, April 15 (PTI): Women employees of the central government can take uninterrupted leave for two years for childcare, which includes needs like exams and sickness, the Supreme Court said today.

It set aside a Calcutta High Court order, which held that Central Civil Services (Leave) Rules do not permit uninterrupted childcare leave (CCL) for 2 years, or 730 days.

“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 a maximum period of 730 days, i.e., during the entire service period for taking care of up to 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.”

The court passed its order on a petition filed by Kakoli Ghosh challenging the government’s decision not to grant her leave for 2 years for preparing her son for secondary/senior examinations.

She first approached the Calcutta Central Administrative Tribunal, which ruled in her favour. However, the high court reversed the order. She then moved the apex court.

“We set aside the impugned judgment dated September 18, 2012, passed by the division bench of Calcutta High Court, Circuit Bench at Port Blair, and affirm the judgment and order dated April 30, 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,” it said.

The court said CCL beyond 730 days can be granted by combining other leave, if due.