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Saturday 18 January 2020

Plea seeking stay on St Stephen’s College admission interviews dismissed

The St Stephen’s college had urged the court to dismiss the petition, alleging that the plea was moved with oblique motives

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday dismissed a plea challenging the inclusion of
a supreme council member of St Stephen’s College here in the interview panel for admission of Christian students to the institute.

Justice Anu Malhotra dismissed the plea moved by three professors of the college.
The court had earlier declined to stay the interview process for admission of Christian
students to the college under the Delhi University (DU).

The teacher-members of the college’s governing body — NP Ashley, Abhishek Singh and
Nandita Narain — had challenged a decision taken by the college’s supreme council at its 12 March meeting.

According to the petition, at the said meeting, it was decided to have an additional Christian member, nominated by the supreme council or the governing body, to be part of the interview panel with respect to the admission of Christian students in all subjects.

The supreme council is higher in authority than the governing body of the college,
comprising members from the Church of North India and also those nominated by it.
The petitioners had contended that the “interference” of the church in the admission process was against the norms of the college.

However, the college, before the single-judge bench, had claimed that the plea was not
maintainable as neither any fundamental right nor any statutory or legal right of the
petitioners were violated.

The college had urged the court to dismiss the petition, alleging that the petitioners had not approached the court with clean hands and the plea was moved with oblique motives.
An earlier statement by the three petitioners had said the supreme council’s decision went
against the constitution of St Stephen’s college, which expressly prohibited interference of
the council in its administration.

Recently, Delhi University‘s St Stephen’s College had announced its cut-offs for various courses. The college had at least 50% of the seats reserved for Christians and follows separate admission criteria.

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