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Supreme Court Mandates Menstrual Leave Policy

Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday, July 8 directed the Centre to frame a model policy on menstrual leave for women employees after holding consultations with states and other stakeholders.

The bench, comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, stated that the issue of menstrual leave is a policy matter and not within the purview of the courts. It also highlighted the potential negative impact of a court-mandated decision on women’s employment opportunities.

The court emphasized that the leave should encourage more women to be part of the workforce, rather than being shunned from it. It directed lawyer Rakesh Khanna and Shailendra Tripathi to approach the Ministry of Women and Child Development and Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati to discuss the possibility of framing a model policy. The court made it clear that states are free to take their own steps in this regard, while the Centre works on a comprehensive policy after consulting with all stakeholders.

This decision comes after the court had earlier disposed of a plea on menstrual pain leave, stating that it falls under the policy domain and a representation can be made to the Centre. However, as per senior lawyers, no decision has been taken by the Centre so far.

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