HC okays Valson Thampu as St Stephens` principal

Delhi High Court today upheld the appointment of Valson Thampu as the principal of St Stephens College.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday upheld the appointment of Valson Thampu as the principal of St Stephens College saying the court will not interfere into the the experts` decision on his selection.

Dismissing a plea by the college former Vice Principal M S Frank against Thampu`s appointment on the ground that he did not have a valid PhD degree, Justice Siddharth Mridul accepted the University Grants Commission`s clarification that it was a valid degree.

"This issue stands concluded by the clarification given by the UGC to the effect that the PhD degree awarded by the Allahabad Agriculture University (AAU) is valid. In view of the clarification, the writ petition does not warrant any interference.

"The decision taken by the experts namely the UGC and the DU to the effect that the respondent (Thampu) possesses the essential qualifications for the post of St Stephens College principal, is a decision which in my view ought to be left to the experts rather than to the court," Justice Mridul said and dismissed Frank`s plea.

"The PhD degree was issued by the AAU, which would have been the appropriate authority to refute this assertion, has not even been made a party before this court," the court said.

Thampu was appointed as the St Stephens College principal by its selection committee on September 12, 2008 and Frank, the erstwhile vice-principal of the college had approached the high court in 2009 challenging the appointment.

He had alleged that Thampu is illegally holding the post of principal as he did not have a valid PhD degree which is the minimum qualification for the appointment.