State Bank of India. (PTI Photo)
New Delhi: The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) on Satuday issued a notice to State Bank of India (SBI) seeking withdrawal of the guideline, that prevents women, who are over three months pregnant, from joining service, terming them as "temporarily unfit".
DCW Chief Swati Maliwal said that this is both "discriminatory" and "illegal".
The notice states that the Commission has taken suo-moto cognizance on media reports of framing of "new guidelines" by the State Bank of India for "new recruitments and promotions".
Citing media reports, the notice stated that a recent circular issued by the bank on December 31 "prevents women who are more than three-month pregnant from joining service, despite having been selected through due process."
The Commission said that the ciruclar states that she will be "considered temporarily unfit and she may be allowed to join within four months after delivery of child."
Terming it as a "serious matter", the Commission said this action of the bank appears to be "discriminatory" and "illegal" as it's contrary to the Maternity Benefits provided under 'The Code of Social Security. 2020'.
"It discriminates on the basis sex which is against the fundamental rights provided under the Constitution of India," the Commission said.
The DCW has asked the bank to provide a copy of the said rules/guidelines issued by it and a copy of similar rules/guidelines operational before issuing the new rules.
It also asked the bank to provide information on the steps taken by the bank to ensure that the said guidelines are non discriminatory to women and to amend/withdraw the said rules/guidelines and a detailed process through which these guidelines were formed along with the names and designations of the approval authority.
The Commission has also sought a detailed action taken report in the matter and the aforementioned information latest by February 2, 2022.