The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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SC to decide on Mission post

New Delhi, May 3: The Supreme Court will decide how much discretion religious denominations like the Ramakrishna Mission should have in appointing principals in educational institutions established and administered by them.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Y.K. Sabharwal has admitted a petition seeking to settle whether these organisations can give a go by to the University Grants Commission and state government guidelines on minimum educational qualifications for principals.

A group of teachers had filed an appeal against a Calcutta High Court order refusing to interfere with the appointment of a principal in a Ramakrishna Mission college. They alleged that the appointment had flouted the provisions of the West Bengal College Service Commission Act, 1978, and the West Bengal College Teachers (Security of Services) Act, 1975.

The principal in the eye of the storm was Swami Sukadevananda of Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Centenary College in Rahara in North 24-Parganas, who the teachers said did not fulfil the minimum eligibility criteria laid out in the statutory rules and regulations.

In a special leave petition filed before the apex court, the teachers contended that the high court had erroneously interpreted the apex court ruling in an earlier case.

The court had then held that a state could not set the criteria for the constitution of Ramakrishna Missionís governing body, but it did not say the laws would not be applicable in the appointment of teachers and principals, they argued.

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