St Stephen’s College student Devansh Mehta, who had clashed with principal Valson Thampu over the publication of a college e-zine in April this year, has alleged that the college has tampered with his provisional certificate by denying him a character certificate.
“When I was picking out my certificate, I noticed that all other certificates have a line referencing the student’s character — ‘His/her character and moral conduct during his/her time in college has been good’. But in my certificate, the line was completely omitted,” Mehta alleged. The character certification is essential for his admission to Columbia University.
Mehta, a final-year student of Philosophy, was suspended by Thampu “on disciplinary grounds” after he went ahead with publication of an e-zine and published an interview of Thampu without his approval. He later moved court against the principal.
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The college authorities, however, refused to comment on the issue. Thampu, who is travelling, told PTI that he was not updated on the matter.
Mehta has now approached the college and lodged his complaint in a letter addressed to Thampu, among others. “A personal disagreement with the principal is not evidence of a bad character and I am most upset that it has been treated as such. It is quite disconcerting that a premier institution can intentionally indulge in vindictive and malicious acts designed to hurt a student’s future prospects,” the letter states.
Mehta said he first had an “inkling” that something was wrong when he applied for the provisional certificate.
“The person in charge of the certificates told me that she could not make my certificate and that I should go and meet the Administrative Officer (AO). Why would someone meet the AO for such a routine procedure,” Mehta said.
He first suspected that the omission of the line was because he had been penalised in his final year for staying at the college hostel without approval. But he realised that wasn’t the reason when he saw that others penalised with him had the line included in their certificates.