8 December 2022

New Delhi: The final arbiter of the dispute involving the invocation of rights of a minority educational institution, between the prestigious St Stephen’s College and Delhi University, over the admission procedure for undergraduate courses, is listed on Monday before a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kaul.

There could not have been an SC judge better suited for adjudicating the row over admission procedure than Jus tice Kaul, who had graduated with honors in economics from St Stephen’s in 1979 and had been the senior counsel representing the Delhi University prior to his appointment as a judge of the Delhi HC in 2001. The other judge on the bench, which will hear the controversy on Monday, is Justice Abhay S Oka.

St Stephen’s College had challenged the May 9 communication from the DU asking the minority institution to conduct admissions to undergraduate courses for general category students solely based on their Common University Entrance Test ( CUET ) 2022 score. The HC upheld this part of the communication. The college had insisted that it would subject students to an additional interview before granting admission to undergraduate courses.

SC to hear today St Stephen's
SC to hear today at St Stephen’s

However, the HC had set aside the second part of the communication to St Stephen’s, which mandated the drawing up of a single merit list for admission of candidates belonging to the Christian community, regardless of any denominations/subsects/sub-categories within it.

The college challenged the HC’s decision in filing the special leave petition through advocate Romy Chacko. It said the HC was not justified in holding that the right to administer ‘ under Article 30 ( 1 ) does not include the right to select non-minority students by supplementary criteria of an interview, in the light of the categorical findings of the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in the St. Stephen’s College case in 1992 which had ruled that the right . of administration under Arti cle 30 ( 1 ) includes right of selection of non – minority students. The HC has failed to appreciate that its direction to the college to issue and adopt two different sets of admission procedures would be violative of Article 14 and Article 15, the college said .

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