CAT quashes dept order cancelling school teacher’s CCL for third child : The Tribune India

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CAT quashes dept order cancelling school teacher’s CCL for third child

Leave can’t be provided as per law, claimed UT Education Department

CAT quashes dept order cancelling school teacher’s CCL for third child

Picture for representational purpose only.



Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 10

In a significant judgment, the Central Administrative Tribunal, Chandigarh, has quashed an order of the UT Education Department cancelling child care leave (CCL) of a woman teacher six years after it was availed.

In a petition filed through counsel Harish Chandra, the TGT teacher of a government school sought quashing the order vide which the CCL sanctioned by the Director, School Education, was cancelled retrospectively. The department cancelled the leave while stating that it could not be given for third child as per the law.

The petitioner stated that she had three children and had not taken any CCL for her first child. She took leave for 15 days for her second child. Her third child was suffering from mental retardation and needed regular sessions of stem cell therapy. The department had sanctioned her CCL for 265 days in total during the years 2013, 2014 and 2016.

She stated that when she again applied for the CCL from August 1, 2019, to September 6, 2019, it was rejected vide letter dated September 12, 2019, on the grounds that she was not entitled to the CCL for the third child. Vide the same letter, her CCL of 265 days already sanctioned for the five spells was also cancelled by the department.

The counsel argued before the Bench that the action of the respondents was arbitrary and sanctioned leave could not be cancelled retrospectively.

The respondents argued that as per rules, the woman government employee having children below the age of 18 might be granted CCL for a maximum period of one year (i.e. 365 days) during her entre service for taking care of two eldest surviving children.

After hearing the arguments, Suresh Kumar Batra, Member (J), quashed the order rejecting the leave retrospectively . The tribunal observed that it was not the case that the leave was rejected due to exigencies of public service, but a matter of interpretation of the relevant rule.

In the present case, the CCL sanctioned by the competent authority had already been availed of by the applicant almost three-six years ago. Thus, the action of the respondents in rejecting the leave already availed could not be said to be in consonance with the relevant rules. Moreover, the applicant had not deliberately concealed any facts from the respondents to seek CCL. Every time she applied for CCL, she filed an affidavit, along with her leave application, wherein she clearly mentioned the details of her three children, including their date of birth. Thus, it was evident that while granting CCL, the competent authority was well aware of the fact that the applicant had sought leave with respect to her third child.

The tribunal observed that the applicant, who had not availed CCL with respect to her first child, was entitled to avail it for her third child. The respondents failed to make out a case upholding their action, observed the Tribunal.

It directed the respondents to do the necessary exercise in terms of the directions within a period of two months from the date of receipt of a certified copy of this order.

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