The tussle between the Supreme Council of St Stephen's College and a section of its teaching faculty over the new admission policy added a new chapter on Saturday.
The Supreme Council and college governing body chairman Bishop Sunil K. Singh, in a strongly worded email, has told the three teachers who had written to him earlier that their “position is based on a complete misreading of the college Constitution and in particular, the powers of the governing body”.
The email accuses the teachers of using “proxy litigants” to launch “proxy battles” against the college.
The email, a copy of which the Hindustan Times has seen, states: “You have not demonstrated a single provision of the Constitution that empowers or even authorises the governing body to formulate policy that is inextricably linked to the religious character of the college. I would like to be shown a single instance, if at all, of the governing body ever deciding admission policy in the past in respect of the college.”
The email also goes on to censure the three teachers who are also members of the governing body for the “tenor” of their email. “I personally do not approve of the tenor of the letter as it carries an implicit threat of litigation against the Supreme Council,” the email states. Supreme Council spokesperson Sunil Mathews confirmed that the Bishop has responded to the teachers' email.
A.D. Mathur, one of the teachers who had written to the chairman, said he was yet to look at the email. “I must read the Bishop's letter before I respond to it. But when we wrote the letter, I thought the admission policy should be foolproof as we are fed up of controversy,” said Mathur.
He said as per the college constitution, all administrative powers, fiscal or those related to admissions, were vested in the governing body. "Whenever the college administration becomes weak, power shifts to other forums, whether the Supreme Council or a group of individuals," added Mathur.
“The letter from the three teachers lacks merit. They have clearly misread and interpreted the provisions of the college constitution. They have failed to cite a single instance of the governing body exercising jurisdiction over such matters in the past,” said Mathews.
The teachers wrote: “Clause 5 of the College Constitution states ‘the Supreme Council shall have no jurisdiction over the administration of the college’.”