St Stephen's undermined its own constitution in fighting legal battle with DU, says professor

Delhi University: The charge was levelled by Nandita Narain, an assistant professor at St Stephen’s College.

St Stephen's undermined its own constitution in fighting legal battle with DU, says professor St Stephen's College, Delhi University (Image: Official Twitter)
Press Trust of India | Jul 12, 2022 - 11:08 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: A St Stephen's College faculty member on Tuesday said that the college undermined its own constitution when it entered into a legal battle with Delhi University without consulting the college governing body. The charge was levelled by Nandita Narain, an assistant professor at St Stephen’s College, who in a letter to the governing body chairperson, called the move by the college a "gross violation" of its constitution.

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In a letter to Bishop Prem Chand Singh, Narain, also a member of the college governing body, also questioned whether the college followed the procedure for the reappointment of Principal John Varghese. The college had recently filed a writ petition challenging Delhi University's letter to it asking it to withdraw its prospectus for the undergraduate courses for the academic year 2022-23.

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As per the newly-brought entrance-based admission system, the college was asked to admit students giving 85 per cent weightage to CUET and 15 per cent weightage to college interviews for its unreserved seats. The Common University Entrance Test, or CUET-UG, will be conducted from July 15 to August 10, the National Testing Agency (NTA) announced last week. St Stephen’s College and Delhi University have been at loggerheads over the admissions process with the former insisting on retaining its right to conduct interviews for admission of all categories of students. Narain in her letter called it surprising that the governing body was not informed by the college about its decision to file a writ petition against the university. "Initiation of legal proceedings in the matter of admissions without the prior approval of the College Governing body is, in my view, in gross violation of Clause 15 of our College Constitution," she wrote.

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In the letter, Narain also asked whether the college had followed the UGC Regulations 2010, when it reappointed Principal John Varghese for another term after the completion of his five-year tenure on February 28, 2021. "Whether the college followed the procedure laid down for re-appointment of Principal after the expiry of the five-year term on February 28, 2021?" she asked. However, she said, that in another earlier meeting, Varghese had responded to the same question saying that the five-year term regulation had been adopted by DU only after his initial appointment as Principal on March 1, 2016, and the ruling “could not be applied to him retrospectively.”


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