Delhi HC refuses to stay interview process for admission of Christian students in St Stephen’s

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Updated: June 12, 2019 9:56:03 PM

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to stay the interview process for admission of Christian students in Delhi University's St Stephen's college.

The court was hearing a petition filed by three teachers of the college against the inclusion of a member of the institution’s Supreme Council in the interview panel for the selection of Christian students.

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to stay the interview process for admission of Christian students in Delhi University’s St Stephen’s college. The court said it did not consider it appropriate to stay the interview process.

“I am not inclined to grant the stay…. I do not consider it appropriate to stay the interview process. They are seeking to maintain their institution as they want it to be,” Justice Anu Malhotra said.

The interview process is scheduled to commence next week.

The court was hearing a petition filed by three teachers of the college against the inclusion of a member of the institution’s Supreme Council in the interview panel for the selection of Christian students.

The teacher-members of the college’s governing body — N P Ashley, Abhishek Singh and Nandita Narain — have challenged a decision taken by the Supreme Council at its meeting on March 12.

The teachers, represented in the court by advocate Sunil Mathew, said it was decided at the meeting to have an additional Christian member nominated by the Supreme Council or the governing body to be part of the interview panel in respect of 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 teachers contended that the “interference” of the church in the admission process was against the norms of the college.

However, the college, in its response, claimed that the petition was not maintainable as neither any fundamental right nor any statutory or legal right of the petitioners was violated.

The college, represented by senior advocate A Mariarputham, sought dismissal of the petition alleging that the teachers had not approached the court with clean hands and the plea had been moved with oblique motives.

An earlier statement by the three teachers 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.

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