New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India has refused to entertain an appeal against a Delhi High Court order which reinstated an ad-hoc Assistant Professor who had been removed from service at Sri Aurobindo College under Delhi University.
A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Indira Banerjee stated that maternity leave could not be a ground for termination of services.
"Having a child is no reflection on a woman's professional ability, whether she is in army, navy, judiciary, teaching or bureaucracy. We will not allow termination on this ground", observed the bench.
The court while dismissing the appeal, upheld the cost of Rs. 50,000 which had been imposed on the college while noting that the woman must have spent quite a sum in fighting the might of the college. Also, the court observed that imposition of cost was a good way of limiting frivolous litigation.
The woman had been working as an ad-hoc faculty in the college on a contractual appointment which was not renewed in January 2019 after she sought for maternity leave of four months. She was removed from service in March.
Though a single-judge bench dismissed her plea against the college, division bench of the same court allowed the plea after observing that maternity leave could not be a legitimate ground for denying extension of job contract.