SC backs Stephen’s right to choose its own principal
St Stephen’s College Principal Valson Thampu got a major relief on Monday when the SC put its seal of approval on a Delhi HC order upholding the college's right to choose its own principal, reports Satya Prakash.delhi Updated: Oct 13, 2008 23:54 IST
St Stephen’s College Principal Valson Thampu got a major relief on Monday when the Supreme Court put its seal of approval on a Delhi High Court order upholding the college's right to choose its own principal.
A bench headed by Justice R.V. Raveendran said minority educational institutions have a constitutional right to appoint heads of their institutions and the Government cannot encroach upon their right.
“It's a valuable right guaranteed under Article 30 of the Constitution …otherwise you are encroaching into it," the bench said dismissing the Delhi University's petition challenging the High Court's order granting absolute right to College to appoint its principal.
The Delhi University had challenged the High Court order on the grounds that the procedure followed by St Stephen's College to appoint Thampu was against the University's ordinance and claimed that it will have the final say in the appointment.
But the Supreme Court dismissed the Delhi University's appeal and upheld the rights of minority colleges to adopt its own procedure to appoint a principal.
It upheld the High Court’s ruling that the right of minority educational institutions to appoint the head of institution cannot be taken away by any rule, regulation or any enactment made by state even if the institute is receiving 100 per cent aid.
Senior counsel P.P. Rao argued that the university had the right to frame regulations for prescribing standards of education and uniformity in the standards "in national interest."
"You show us one minority college not maintaining the standards. Otherwise we will be making minority institutions only a farce,” the court shot back.
Under the Ordinance, the list of candidates for appointment of principal has to be approved by the university, thus vesting it with the final say in the appointment of the head of the institution.