A question has been raised by The Madras High Court on Wednesday to the Centre why a law could not be enacted to make it compulsory for women to breastfeed their babies. As per Madras High Court, the Centre can take encouragement from UAE Child Rights Law and make breastfeeding mandatory. The Madras High Court wanted to know from the Centre as to why the Parliament should not pass a law making it mandatory on the part of women to breastfeed their newborns as it had been done in the United Arab Emirates where it had been made compulsory for mothers to breastfeed their babies until they were two years old, this question has been raised because according to Justice Kirubakaran, it should essentially be a fundamental right.
Justice N. Kirubakaran posed the issue while dealing with a case filed by a government doctor who was refused authorization to join a PG course on the opinion that the maternity leave availed by her would have to be excluded while calculating the minimum service period of two years required to join postgraduate courses as in-service candidates.In spite of conceding relief to the petitioner, the judge kept the case pending in order to deal with larger issues spinning around grant of maternity leave and the care required for newborns. According to Justice N Kirubakaran breastfeeding should be made a fundamental right of infants aged up to six months. He observed that even “divine nectar” could not be compared to mother’s milk.