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A single judge order that upheld the appointment of Valson Thampu as the principal of St. Stephens college has been challenged in the the Delhi High Court. The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notices to Delhi University and St. Stephens College on the issue of appointment of Valson Thampu.

 A division bench of Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Rajeev Sahai Endlaw also issued notice to Thampu and sought responses by Oct 11.

M.S. Frank, the former vice principal of St. Stephens, has challenged the single judge order of July 3, and alleged that Thampu was illegally holding the post of principal and did not have a valid PhD degree, the minimum qualification for the post of college principal.

Justice Siddharth Mridul July 3 dismissed Frank’s petition, ruling that Thampu possessed the essential qualification for the post. He also refused to interfere with the decision taken by the experts who appointed Thampu.

Justice Mridul in his order said, “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. Stephens College is a decision which in my view ought to be left to experts rather than courts”.

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

 However, the order had said that UGC had given clarification to the effect that the PhD degree awarded by the Allahabad Agricultural University was a valid degree.

 Thampu was appointed principal of St. Stephens College on Sep 12, 2008.

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