Months after he was suspended for levelling allegations of financial misconduct and attempted conversion against St Stephen’s College principal Valson Thampu, the administrative officer of the college has retracted his allegations, claiming they were “without any foundation”.
Administrative officer Subha Kumar Dash was suspended in December by Thampu after he made several allegations, including financial mismanagement and misbehaviour, against him.
Dash then approached the Delhi High Court against the suspension and alleged the principal also attempted to forcibly convert him to Christianity. The principal and the college had refuted the allegations. In February, the court of Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Pratibha Rani asked the two parties to settle the matter out of court to “protect the reputation” of the college.
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On March 10, Dash submitted an apology letter to the court, stating that he was retracting all allegations. In the letter, a copy of which was accessed by Newsline, Dash has said the allegations against Thampu and the college were “without foundation” and made in a “moment of stress”.
Speaking to Newsline, advocate Romy Chacko, the counsel for St Stephen’s College in the case, said the matter was now listed for hearing in April, and the letter has been forwarded to the governing body of the college, which will take a decision on Dash’s suspension. “The court will take a decision based on the response of the governing body,” Chacko said.
When contacted, Thampu said the governing body, which is headed by the Bishop of the Church of North India, will take a decision on revoking Dash’s suspension. “I have no problem in forgiving him and removing all charges, now that he has made the apology. I believe the governing body will take a benign view,” Thampu said.
Dash’s lawyer Sunil Matthew, however, said the letter was “given as part of a sealed settlement” and criticised the college authorities for “leaking the letter to the media”. Matthew said the settlement was made “to preserve Dash’s dignity” and college authorities should not have disclosed the letter to the media.