New Delhi: Delhi University's former Vice Chancellor Deepak Pental, who is facing charges of plagiarism, cheating and forgery along with another person, was on Saturday granted exemption from personal appearance by a court here.
Metropolitan Magistrate Jagminder Singh also granted similar relief to KVSK Prasad, who was also summoned as accused in the case, after his counsel moved an application seeking exemption from personal appearance for the day.
"Exemption application has been moved by both the accused (Pental and Prasad)... Same are allowed. Put up for April 18," the magistrate said, while taking note of the Delhi High Court order which had on February 20 granted them exemption from appearance in the matter.
Seeking Pental's exemption, his counsel told the court that "he is engaged with prior commitments" and the matter be put up after July 23, the next date of hearing in the high court.
Opposing the exemption applications of both the accused, DU professor P Pardha Saradhi, complainant in the case, said the reason for the relief has to be substantiated by them.
"Blank exemption cannot be given like this. They should give a proper reason," Praveen Kumar Singh, counsel for the complainant, said.
Pental and Prasad, who face allegations of plagiarising DU Professor P Pardha Saradhi's paper on biotechnology and publishing it as their own, had moved the high court seeking quashing of the trial court summon issued on November 18, 2013 and also to stay the proceedings in the case. The high court granted them exemption vide its February 20 order.
63-year-old Pental has been accused of cheating and misappropriating some genetic material from the university's science lab on a complaint filed by Saradhi, now a professor of Environmental Studies with Delhi University.
Pental, who has challenged the trial court's summons issued to him, was granted interim bail on November 25 last year by both the lower court and the High Court.
Saradhi's lawyer had earlier said that a private complaint was filed in 2009 in the court here alleging that Pental had allured post-doctoral research student Prasad and they had plagiarised Saradhi's paper and published it as their own between 2000- 2002.
Pental was the Vice Chancellor of Delhi University in 2005-2010.