The teacher, Chandramohan, had challenged the rejection of his paternity leave application and deduction of his salary by N.K. Bagrodia Public School at Rohini in West Delhi here.
He had stayed away from work to take care of his wife after she gave birth to their child in December 2008. The school deducted his salary on the ground that it had no provision for paternity leave.
In his petition filed through his lawyer Ashok Aggarwal, Chandramohan said that every unaided school in the capital was bound to provide paternity leave for a fortnight within 60 days before or after delivery.
He submitted that the Delhi Education Act and Rules say that the staff of un-aided public schools shall be given salary, allowances, leave and other benefits equivalent to their counterparts in government schools.
The centre had in 1999 notified that all its employees would get paternity leave for a fortnight. Following that, the Delhi government also notified the same for its employees as well as for the staff of un-aided public schools.
The petitioner urged the court to issue a declaration that the facility of paternity leave also applied to the staff of un-aided public schools. He also sought his salary that had been deducted.
Chandramohan may be distressed but there are others who think he is lucky. One of them is Rohit Sharma, who was not granted paternity leave by his company and couldn't challenge this because private sector companies are under no compulsion to have this provision.
"I was helpless and had no option but to leave my wife and daughter in the hands of a maid as I could not devote time to them. I asked my company for leave but they said they didn't have any provision like this so I had no option but to stick to my job," Sharma said.
"At least Chandramohan has some grounds to fight in court," he added.