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St Stephen's gives preference to Church of North India students

Friday July 08, 2011 10:30:07 PM, IANS

New Delhi: Giving reasons for denying admission to a student under the Christian quota, St Stephen's College here told the Delhi High Court Friday that the college gives preference to those belonging to Church of North India (CNI) and the student did not belong to that category.

The college said the foremost purpose of setting up the college by Church of North India (CNI) is for uplifting students belonging to the CNI.

The college in its reply filed before Justice Kailash Gambhir said: "The members of CNI are the most economically and educationally backward among the Christian community. The foremost purpose of setting up the college by the CNI is for uplifting the students belonging to CNI."

Earlier, the vacation bench of Justice Manmohan Singh June 23 issued a notice to the College as well as Delhi University and sought their reply on a petition of Nikhil Neil Das. He secured 89 percent marks in Class 12 but was not allowed to appear in an admission interview in the college under the Christian quota.

The college reply further states that St Stephen's has its own admission procedure by which it sets aside 50 percent seats for Christian students and gives preference to students who belong to the CNI.

"It is respectfully submitted that the effect of abolishing the provision for preferential admission to applicants from the CNI would be that the doors of the St Stephen's belonging to the CNI, will be shut against the candidates from CNI," said the reply.

The college maintained that the petitioner had applied under the Christian Others (COTH) quota and did not fall under the CNI category.

"He secured 89 percent in best of four subjects. Hence, he was below cut-off and failed to qualify for the interview, missing the mark by substantial 1.5 percent or 6 marks as compared to the last candidate called for the interview from his category, which is COTH from science stream," said the reply.

Das had applied for admission to BA Economics (Hons) course for academic year 2011-12.

"Though the cut-off marks were made known to Das on June 6, he did not choose to challenge the same till June 23, till after the list of selected students was put up by the St Stephen's College," said the reply.

The reply stated that the petitioner has no genuine grievance. Even without preferential treatment to the CNI, the petitioner does not qualify for interview based on merit among Christian candidates.

His counsel Ashok Aggarwal said the college illegally and unconstitutionally set a criteria of admission to benefit candidates having membership in the Church of North India (CNI). Das is not a member of the CNI.

The college came out with two cut-offs for the course - one for applicants who were members of the CNI and those who were not, submitted the counsel.

"At the time of submitting the application, there was no mention of a different cut-off of marks within the Christian community," he said.

The court posted the matter for Aug 11 for further arguments.







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