Supreme Court upholds minority educational bodies’ autonomy

October 13th, 2008 - 10:31 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 13 (IANS) Endorsing the constitutional autonomy of minority educational institutions in managing their affairs, the Supreme Court Monday dismissed a Delhi University lawsuit questioning the appointment of the St. Stephen’s College principal.A bench of Justice R.V. Raveendran and Justice J.M. Panchal dismissed the lawsuit questioning appointment of Father Walson Thimpu and said: “It’s a valuable right guaranteed under Article 30, otherwise you are encroaching into it.”

The university had moved the apex court challenging a Delhi High Court ruling that had upheld the powers of St. Stephen’s College to appoint its principal under the autonomy guaranteed to under Article 30 of the constitution.

Dismissing the lawsuit, the bench said minority educational institutions have a constitutional right to appoint their heads and the government cannot trample that right.

The high court had said no rule, regulation or ordinary law can divest minority educational institutions of their constitutional right to manage their own affairs under the procedures evolved and fixed by them.

The high court had ruled that the functional autonomy granted to minority educational institutions by the constitution vests them with an absolute power to appoint their heads.

It had ruled that the functional institutions autonomy remains intact even if they receive 100 percent monetary aid from the government.

The university had challenged the high court ruling, contending that Article 30 does not accord them an absolute right but only an ordinary right to manage their affairs, which could be curbed in some circumstances.

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