St Stephen’s principal appointment valid

The Delhi High Court has upheld Valson Thampu’s appointment as the St Stephen’s College principal, saying that he has the essential qualification to hold the post.

The High Court was hearing a petition filed by former vice-principal of the college, MS Frank, alleging that Thampu was illegally holding the post of principal and did not have a valid PhD degree, which was the minimum qualification. Thampu was appointed principal of the St Stephen’s college in Delhi on 12 September 2008.

Frank had said the Allahabad Agricultural University awarded Thampu a PhD in Theology. But Theology was not taught at Delhi University and the relevance of Thampu’s PhD for the post of principal was not certain.

Dismissing Frank’s petition, Justice Siddharth Mridul said that the court would not interfere with the decision taken by the experts who appointed Thampu, observing that he has the essential qualification.

‘The writ petition does not want any interference. The decision taken by the experts, namely the University Grant Commission and the Delhi University, to the effect that Valson Thampu possesses essential qualification for the post of principal of St Stephen’s College is a decision which in my view ought to be left to experts rather than courts,’ Justice Mridul said.

‘This issue stands concluded by the clarification given by the UGC to the effect that the Ph.D. degree awarded by the Allahabad Agricultural University is a valid degree,’ said the High Court.
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