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Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi: The Railways on Monday told the Delhi High Court it was "actively considering" the grievance raised in a PIL regarding restriction in medical benefits to adopted children of its employees and a "positive" direction was expected to be taken to address the issue.

The submission was made before a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar by the lawyer appearing for the Railways.

In view of the statement made by the Railways' lawyer, the court listed the matter for further hearing on May 1.

The bench was hearing the plea by an NGO which has alleged that the Railways was "discriminating" against adopted children of its employees by providing medical benefits to only the first adopted child, whereas there is no such restriction in the case of biological kids.

NGO Families of Joy Foundation, in its petition, has sought a direction to the Indian Railways to extend the medical benefits to all and any number of adopted children of its employees.

The petition has said that in September 2000 the Indian Railways had amended its medical manual with regard to the definition of family members and dependent relatives who could claim medical benefits, including reimbursement of treatment costs, by limiting the number of adopted children who could avail the benefits to one.

It has contended that such kind of policy was "patently discriminatory against adopted children".

The petition has referred to an August 2019 news report regarding a female Railway employee who had requested for Unique Medical Identity Card for both her adopted children but the benefit was not provided to her second adopted child.

It has further contended that such kind of distinction between adopted and biological children was "arbitrary and unreasonable".


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