The Delhi High Court has issued notice to St Stephen's College on a plea by three faculty members challenging the decision to have an additional Christian member nominated by the institution's supreme council to be a part of the interview panel for admission of students.
Teacher members of the college governing body -- NP Ashley, Abhishek Singh and Nandita Narain -- had challenged the decision taken by the council at its meeting dated March 12, their lawyer Sunil Mathews said.
Justice C Hari Shankar on Saturday issued notice to St Stephen's and Delhi University (DU) and fixed June 12 as the next date for the hearing, according to a press release issued by him.
"The Stephen's teachers were represented by Sunil Mathews, Sabah Iqbal Siddiqui and Babita, who argued that the decision of the Supreme Council went against the constitution of Stephen's college which expressly prohibited interference of the Supreme Council in the administration of the college," it said.
"The counsel also pointed out the observation of the Supreme Court in the St. Stephen's case of 1992 where the Supreme Court had held that admission of students was an essential facet of the administration of the college," the release said.
"It had also approved of the selection mode which at that time only had the principal and teachers of the department concerned conducting the interviews for admission of students," it said.
On May 17, the student union and staff association of the college staged a protest against the alleged interference of the church authorities along with a member of the institution's supreme council in a panel to select students.
They also wrote an open letter to the college principal, urging him to develop communication opportunities with them.
The supreme council is a subset of 6 members of the governing body of the Church of North India. The chairperson of both the council and governing body is the Bishop of Delhi and the member secretary is the principal.
According to the college constitution, the supreme council will control the religious and moral instruction of the students and all matters affecting its religious character as a Christian college of the Church of North India. It shall have no jurisdiction over the administration of the college.
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