New Delhi: Everyone would not gang up against a college principal without any reason, the Delhi High Court observed on Friday while referring to St Stephen's Principal Valson Thampu who has been facing accusations from his staff, teachers and students.
"The staff is against him, students are against him, teachers are against him. We all have studied in a college. Not everyone gangs up against the principal of a college
(without a reason)...," Justice Manmohan said.
The court made the observation while hearing a plea of a St Stephen's administrative officer alleging he was made to work under "deplorable" condition in a store-room infested with termites and lizards.
SK Dash, the administrative officer, has sought initiation of contempt action against Thampu for violating terms of a settlement order passed by a division bench of the
High Court by making him work out of a store-room.
He has also alleged that a criminal complaint was lodged against him by Thampu after he joined the college on 21 April, subsequent to the settlement order.
The counsel for Thampu, on the other hand, contended that there was a "concerted effort" to "malign the image" of the college and its Principal.
The court on Friday asked both sides to consider sorting out the issue as "prestige of the college was far more important".
Thereafter, both sides agreed to try and settle the issue and the court listed the matter for hearing on 22 July when it has to be informed about the status.
On 22 May, the court had rapped Thampu for making Dash work from a store room and had asked "why can't the Principal behave himself" and "why he is acting like this".
It had also remarked that the Principal's actions were leading to adverse publicity.
Thampu had suspended Dash last year on charges of engaging in "gross misconduct", after which the administrative officer had moved court accusing him of forcing him to convert
However, Dash rejoined the college on 21 April after a settlement order was passed by a division bench of the High Court.
The court's observation that the staff, teachers and students were "against him" came against the backdrop of Thampu being accused by a research scholar of St Stephens of
shielding a professor who allegedly molested her, besides Dash's allegations against him.
The PhD student has alleged that Thampu had asked her to withdraw the complaint against the Chemistry professor, Satish Kumar. The high court today restrained the police from
arresting Kumar till 17 August.
Earlier, St Stephen's student, Devansh Mehta, had taken Thampu to court over his suspension for speaking to media regarding ban of the college's e-zine.
The court had rapped Thampu over the manner in which he handled the suspension and had asked him to take back the step. It had said the issue should not have reached the court for its intervention, as it showed "how the Stephen's College Principal has gone about it".
Thampu has also been involved in a spat with Nandita Narain, a professor in St Stephens and also the President of Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA), against whom he
had initiated inquiry proceedings for allegedly making defamatory comments against him in a publication.
Narain had denied making any defamatory remarks and had contended that she was misquoted by the publication.
Even the staff association of the college, in the past, had blamed Thampu for harassing former vice-principal, Dr Frank, as he had challenged the Thampu's appointment as
Dr Frank had moved court on the ground that Thampu was a PhD in Theology, a qualification invalid for appointment to the post.
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Updated Date: Jul 03, 2015 20:04:17 IST