The appointment of the principal at St Stephen’s College may take longer than expected as the institution has filed a fresh writ petition in the Delhi High Court challenging section 7 (2) of Ordinance XVII of Delhi University. Filed on July 21, the petition was heard by Justice Manmohan Samiran on Wednesday.
“The college has challenged the university ordinance because it violates St. Stephen’s minority character and interferes with its right to choose a principal. Being a minority institution, the college has the right to appoint its own principal provided it adheres to the minimum qualification rules established by the university,” said Supreme Council spokesperson and college lawyer Sunil Mathews.
In reaction to St. Stephen’s College moving court DU Registrar AK Dubey said, “Till the time the court issues an order contrary to the ordinance the college will have to follow it.”
Section 7(2) of Ordinance XVIII, which lays down the procedure for appointment of the principal, makes University officials an integral part of the selection process. It states: “The Governing Body (of the College) shall submit to the University a list of persons, who have applied for the post of Principal… The list thus submitted by the Governing Body shall be considered by a Selection Committee constituted for the purpose.” The Vice Chancellor and the Pro-Vice Chancellor are among the members of the Selection committee.
The case was however, referred to the Chief Justice and the college is now awaiting the announcement of the next date of hearing. “Having been a student of St. Stephen’s, Justice Samiran thought it was not appropriate for him to hear the case and so referred it to the Chief Justice,” added Mathews.