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In a rather progressive judgment, The Patna HC has held that merely because a woman has been unable to appear in the physical evaluation exam due to her pregnancy, it does not mean that her right to equal opportunity of being employed.
The Hon’ble High Court, in its decision, stated that “Motherhood is a step to maintain the social order and the society is indebted for this magnificent role of women. This is the pious right recognized under Article 21 (Right to Life) of the constitution. Once a woman candidate appeared in a selection process, starting from applying in response to an advertisement, she was entitled to all the benefits for secured motherhood, both pre as well as post maternity.”
Mr. Justice Jyoti Saran, by way of this decision has taken a step forward towards the establishment of equal opportunities for men and women, in the employment opportunities in the Nation.
Article 16 of the Constitution of India, deals with the equality of opportunity for all the citizens in matters of employment or appointment to all the offices in the State. In 2015-2016 comprised of only 13.4% of the total Urban Working Force and a mere 26.7% of the total Rural working force.
In his voluminous judgement, Mr. Justice Saran referred to many apex court rulings, concerned constitutional provisions relating to equal opportunity of employment, right to life as well as the maternity benefit act.