Delivery of twins to be considered as 2 deliveries for maternity benefits

The Madras High Court has ruled that a woman giving birth to twins during her first delivery, cannot claim maternity benefits for the next delivery.

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Following an appeal filed by the Union Ministry against leave granted to a woman employee of the CISF, the Madras High Court recently ruled that if a working woman gives birth to twins during the first delivery, she will not be entitled to maternity benefits for the next child, as that child will be treated as her third. Benefits will be offered to the first two children only.

As per the court, since even during the delivery of twins, the babies are delivered one at a time, and one after the other —according to which the senior or junior of the two is determined— the whole exercise has to be counted as two deliveries and not one. This was stated by the first bench, comprising Chief Justice A.P Sahi and Justice Subramonium, while hearing an appeal by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The decision came after an appeal by the Union Ministry against the ruling of a single judge on 18 June 2019, which had granted 180 days of leave and other benefits to a woman employee of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). The Judge had granted her the benefits available for the Tamil Nadu government employees.

In its appeal, the Union Ministry contended that being an employee of CISF, the woman in question should be governed by the Central Civil Services (Leave) Rules, and not by those governing the employees of the Tamil Nadu government.

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