Alleging that Delhi University (DU) was “impinging on the autonomy” of the college, the Daulat Ram College Trust has approached the Delhi High Court, seeking orders for sacking its acting principal and allowing the governing body to appoint a regular principal. At the centre of the controversy is Dr Daya Aggarwal, the acting principal who is also the sister of Rajya Sabha MP and former Delhi BJP chief Vijay Goel.
The college trust alleged that the university was not allowing it to remove Aggarwal despite allegations of “misconduct and insubordination” against her. It said it has been “unable to appoint a regular principal since 2010” as DU was yet to notify the rules regarding qualifications and appointments of teachers and principals. In the absence of a regular principal, a college is allowed to appoint the seniormost teacher as “acting principal” for a period of six months.
During arguments on Monday before the court of Justice Rajiv Shakdher, advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul said the college has had to appoint acting principals for six-month durations since 2010, which has had a negative impact on the institution.
DU said the rules regarding qualifications, tenure and the selection process for principals were passed by the Executive Council on March 6 and the notification would be sent to colleges soon.
Accepting the university’s submissions, the court allowed the college to issue an advertisement for the post of principal and directed DU to ensure there were no delays in granting approval to the appointment process.
Aggarwal was appointed acting principal in February 2013. Her term was to expire in August. However, the trust alleged it was “coerced into re-appointing” her despite the governing body terming her “grossly unsuitable for the post”. She was re-appointed to the post in August 2013 and then again in February 2014.
In its plea filed through advocates Sheyel Trehan and Diya Kapoor, the college sought permission to appoint a regular principal or to approve the name proposed by the governing body. The trust also asked the court to direct the university to remove Aggarwal, who was “occupying” the post of acting principal “without sanction or approval of the governing body”.