Judgement: St. Stephen’s College vs. University of Delhi


Case Name–      St. Stephen’s College vs. University of Delhi

Citation No: 1868 of 1980[(W/P) Civil]


  1. H.Kania
  2. J.Setty
  3. M.Kasliwai
  4. Fatima. Beevi
  5. Dhayal


This case is related to minority rights in connection to establishing and running of educational institutions

Facts of the Case

  1. Stephen College at Delhi was affiliated to Delhi university and later to UP university. It is a state aided educational institution. The college admission procedure provides to give preference to Christian students since they are religiously minority institution.
  2. The College was founded in 1881 being the oldest in Delhi. The courses for the academic year 1980-1981 was published in admission prospectus, it was also provided that the final admission would be based on the student choice, however the VC of Delhi University had recommended necessary dates and procedure for the same academic year.
  3. The admission to Bcom and BA was on the basis of marks of the qualifying exam. Also individual subjects could be given weighted but should be notified in advanced through prospectus.
  4. The Delhi University Students Union complained that the college had fixed its own time schedule and interview dates before the admission dates of Delhi University.
  5. A student named Rahul Kapoor seeked admission to a under graduate course challenging the admission schedule of St. Stephen College. The college by means of Writ Petition under Article 32 stated that it was a religious minority run institution. For 300 seats 6000 applications were received. On admission students who were denied filed Writ Petition in Allahabad High Court Challenging reservation for Christian Students.
  6. The High Allowed the Writ Petition under Article 29(2). An Appeal was made.


  1. Whether St. Stephens College is a minority run institution.
  2. Whether St. Stephens College as minority institution is bound by University Circulars.
  3. Whether St. Stephens College is entitled to reserve seats to its own Community.



The Judgement of the High Court was reversed by this Court.

  1. The High Court didn’t pay sufficient attention to the evidence supplied by Petitioners.
  2. Indian Citizenship is not a condition for application of Art 30 and therefore could not be denied.
  3. Person setting up educational institutions must be resident in India and they must form a well defined religious and linguistic minority.




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