A bench of justices S J Mukhopadhaya and V Gopala Gowda set aside the order of Calcutta High Court which had held that Central Civil Services (Leave) Rules do not permit uninterrupted CCL(Child Care Leave) for 730 days.
"On perusal of circulars and Rule 43-C, it is apparent that a woman government employee having minor children below 18 years can avail CCL for maximum period of 730 days i.e. during the entire service period for taking care of upto two children. The care of children is not for rearing the smaller child but also to look after any of their needs like examination, sickness etc," the bench said.
It said that CCL even beyond 730 days can be granted by combining other leave if due and the finding of the High Court was based neither on Rule 43-C nor on guidelines issued by the central government.
The court passed the order on a petition filed by a woman government employee Kakali Ghosh challenging government's decision not to grant her leave of 730 days for preparing her son for secondary/senior examinations.
She had first approached Central Administrative Tribunal Calcutta for getting leave. The tribunal had ordered in her favour but the High Court reversed the order after which she moved the apex court.
The apex court set aside the High Court's order.
"We set aside the impugned judgement dated September 18, 2012 passed by the Division Bench of Calcutta High Court, Circuit Bench at Port Blair and affirm the judgement and order dated April 30, 2012 passed by the Tribunal with a direction to the respondents to comply with the directions issued by the Tribunal within three months from the date of receipt/ production of this judgement," it said.