In Dr Kanchan Bala vs State of Haryana, a single bench of the Punjab and Haryana Court has allowed the petitioner to be granted child care leave despite the plea of the government that there were insufficient number of medical specialists available in the hospital, with only one other medical specialist available other than the petitioner. In the instant case, the petitioner, a medical specialist at ESI Hospital at Jagadhari, had applied for child care leave to take care of her daughter who was studying in 12th standard. However, the petitioner’s application was denied on the ground of insufficiency in the number of medical specialists available at the hospital.
It was brought to the notice of the court that requisition for recruitment of medical officers to the Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC) and its objection thereto was made one year ago and that fresh requisition for recruitment was made only on 29.09.2017. On bringing the aforementioned facts to the notice of the court, it observed that it cannot be ignored that the government had been sitting on the objections raised by the HPSC for more than a year.
Hearing the parties, the court rejected the contentions of the government and held as follows: “Hence, even though Rule 46 of the Haryana Civil Services (Leaves), 2016, stipulates in sub-rule 2 thereof that child care leave shall not be demanded as a matter of right and no one can, under any circumstances, proceed on child care leave without prior sanction and further, sub-rule 11 stipulates that child care leave would not be granted if it disrupts the functioning of offices/ institutions/ schools etc., the Government, in my opinion, the Govt. cannot be allowed to take advantage of its own fault, to deny a right which has been statutorily recognized by it, and correctly recognized, seeing the future of children who would make future doctors/engineers/bureaucrats etc. of the country.”
Therefore, the court ordered child care leave to be granted within 15 days till the time the petitioner is entitled to such leave. Further, it directed the respondent to employ a medical specialist on contract basis, if they so wish.