A postal employee petitioned the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) to find out why her child was born via surrogacy . The tribunal has also postponed any departmental probe against her by ignoring her while on duty .
Ahmedabad (Azamabad): A postal employee has petitioned the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) to find out why her child was born via surrogacy.She advised the tribunal to tell the department not to take any action against her for treating her absent on duty.The CAT has sent a notice to the Centre and the chief postmaster general of the department, halting the department's decision not to grant maternity leave to female employees, arguing that if paternity leave is given to male employees, she has no point in refusing maternity leave to her for having a child through surrogacy.According to woman's lawyer P H Pathak, the tribunal has also postponed any departmental probe against her by ignoring her while on duty.The department denied her bid on March 21, stating that there was no provision for maternity leave in the case the child's birth was made possible by surrogacy.The employee filed a lawsuit against this order, claiming that the department is incorrect in claiming that there is no way to grant maternity leave to a mother whose child is born as a result of surrogacy.She has also requested that the department refrain from enforcing any negative note against her and not to treat her as an absentee.The department's decision has been described as arbitrary, unfair, ineffective, devoid of any effort to think and violating constitutional rights by the entrepreneur. In favor of the argument, her lawyer relied on numerous high court orders and a CAT decision in Delhi.She explained in her petition that distinguishing between a mother who begets a child through surrogacy and a natural mother, who gives birth to a child, would be insulting womanhood and the intention of a woman to raise a child begotten through surrogacy.When the child is born, motherhood never ends, and a commissioning mother is entitled to paid maternity leave.As far as maternity insurance is concerned, a woman is not discriminated against because she obtained the child via surrogacy. The petitioner cited a DoPT circular to back up her argument that 180 days of maternity leave can be offered to the surrogate as well as commissioning mothers, if either of them are government servants.