The Supreme Court on Friday, 1 October, issued a notice to the Centre over a petition challenging the Constitutional validity of section 5(4) of the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, which provides that mothers who adopt a child would only be provided maternity leave if they adopt a child who is less than 3 months old.
The plea, filed by Hamsaanandini Nanduri, states that the provision is "discriminatory and arbitrary" towards adoptive mothers, news agency ANI reported.
As per the provision, mothers who adopt a child older than three months will not be entitled to twelve weeks of maternity leave that is provided otherwise.
The petition furthered in the court noted that the provision discriminates against not only adoptive mothers, but also children who are adopted, ANI reported.
While twelve weeks of maternity leave is provided to adoptive mothers, biological mothers are granted twenty-six weeks of leave, the plea further pointed out.
A bench comprising Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Krishna Murari said the the petitioner had put forth a "just cause," and sought a response on the plea from the central government, as per a Bar and Bench report.
(With inputs from ANI and Bar and Bench)