Stephen's passes constitution amendment despite truncated Governing Body

College principal Valson Thampu issued a "Facebook press statement" announcing that the amendment has been approved and a press conference called in this regard stands cancelled.

New Delhi: In a move that may snap away its affiliation from Delhi University, St Stephen's college has approved the amendments to the institution's 102-year-old constitution despite a truncated Governing Body (GB) meeting with only ten out of eighteen members present.

The move has been slammed by the teachers and alumni as "illegal" as according to the constitution no amendment can be passed without at least two-thirds of the members being present, and a two-thirds majority being obtained. Few students on the other hand maintained that they were not aware of what the amendments are.

The draft proposing the amendments was placed before the GB yesterday which deliberated on it during an eight-hour long meeting which was boycotted by four teacher representatives, two DU representatives, Principal's nominee Justice Manmohan Sarin and the GB's Recording Secretary Sanjeev Garewal who resigned from the post in protest against the amendment move. The meeting still proceeded despite being short of "quorum".

While the college principal Valson Thampu and the present GB members yesterday remained tight-lipped about what transpired in the meeting, Thampu today issued a "Facebook press statement" announcing that the amendment has been approved and a press conference called in this regard stands cancelled.

He also termed the abstention of teachers and DU representatives from the meeting as "a spirit of intolerance" and further called a couple of teachers as "pseudo-activists".

However, it was not clear whether the amendment draft was passed as the proposed one or with certain changes. Calls and text messages to Thampu seeking clarification on the same went unanswered.

The passed draft will be taken up in another GB meeting scheduled three months later before being notified as the amended constitution.

"The marathon exercise involved the exhilarating task of harmonising a variety of regulatory and empowering provisions and frameworks. The issues raised through a representation by faculty members were given due and careful consideration. The GB found several of their observations valuable and the final outcome is richer on that count," the statement said.

While Thampu termed teacher and university representatives boycott as "a spirit of intolerance", the statement made no mention of the abstention of Justice Manmohan Sarin and neither on the resignation of the recording secretary.

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