St Stephen's staff up in arms against college principal

New Delhi: Teachers at Delhi University's St Stephen's college today protested irregularities on part of the college governing body after it authorised the principal to take disciplinary action against faculty and non-teaching staff. The association also said the principal, Valson Thampu, colluded with a senior staff member, who was found guilty of sexual harassment by the apex complaints committee of the university.

 St Stephens staff up in arms against college principal

The association blamed Thampu for harassing former vice-principal, Dr Frank, as he had challenged the former's appointment as principal. File Photo.

Citing minutes of the governing body meeting in November last year, the staff association members said the decision to take disciplinary action against faculty and non-teaching staff was ultra vires of ordinance XII of the university. "There are norms laid down by the university for non-teaching staff. We have labour laws, too. Why should the principal be empowered to take action against them," said Nandita Narain, convenor, staff association, St Stephen's college.

The association blamed Thampu for harassing former vice-principal, Dr Frank, as he had challenged the former's appointment as principal. Dr Frank had moved court on the ground that Thampu was a PhD in Theology, a qualification invalid for appointment to the post.

Based on a report of the supreme council of the institute, the governing body found Dr Frank guilty of misconduct. The association, however, said that as per the college constitution, the council has no jurisdiction in administrative matters and any reference to its report cannot be considered legal.

"We demand closure of the disciplinary proceedings against Dr Frank," said Narain.

The association has also criticised the principal soliciting a student who complained of sexual harassment to amicably settle the matter with the accused. "Any attempt to pressurise a complainant to withdraw her complaint or to take action against her during or after the enquiry is expressly forbidden by the ordinance," said Narain.

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Updated Date: Jan 16, 2012 11:24:55 IST