This one is much better than the earlier one. As you may recall, St. Stephen's new policy is under fire because it increases the quota for Christians to 40 percent, with a new sub-quota for Dalit Christians. Thampu's defence revolves around legal issues; since St. Stephen's is a minority institution, it is bound by a Supreme Court verdict which caps the non-minority intake in these institutions to 50 percent!
St. Stephen’s College 1992 verdict [presumably by the Delhi High Court or the Supreme Court] reserved 50 per cent seats for non-minorities. The Pai Foundation verdict [by a 11-judge Supreme Court Bench in 2002] reversed this and stipulated that non-minority admissions in a minority institution shall not exceed 50 per cent. It did not cap minority admissions. [bold emphasis added]
To the charge that the college favours Christians while taking public money, his answer relies, in part, on another Supreme Court order:
The Supreme Court has settled the issue of what happens to minority rights when grant-in-aid is received from the State. No affiliated college can function without State subsidy. Colleges are allowed to collect only a pittance in the form of tuition fees. This revenue is not retained by the college, but remitted to the UGC. As the Apex Court has said repeatedly, you cannot create a situation in which a college is obliged to receive grant-in-aid and then use that obligation to rob it of its minority status.
Thampu's response, presumably, was prompted by a couple of op-eds last Sunday by Vir Sanghvi and Barkha Dutt. It relies so heavily on legal issues surrounding minority institutions that I have to depend on legally minded souls (such as the bloggers behind the excellent Law and Other Things) to tell us if other interpretations of the law are possible.