Accused IIM-A faculty gets relie from Guj HC



Ahmedabad: A faculty at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A), accused of plagiarism and academic misdemeanour got some relief from the Gujarat High Court which has asked the premier business school to conduct a fresh inquiry into the matter.

The order was passed by a division bench of Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice C L Soni yesterday while hearing a contempt petition filed by Professor Rajanish Dass, who was accused of plagiarism in three academic papers and in a report on UNDP project.

Dass, who teaches at IIM-A's Computer And Information Systems Group (CISG) was alleged to have copied the content without giving credit in two papers which were co-authored with research associate Sujoy Pal and published in 2008 and 2009.

A two-member committee of professors Errol D’Souza and Tathagata Bandyopadhyay who conducted a preliminary inquiry in the matter concluded in their report submitted last month to IIM-A director Samir Barua that the allegations against professor Dass were 'valid'.

When the inquiry was initiated in January, Dass had approached the High Court complaining that the committee did not provide him the documents on which it had relied upon.

The institute had then told the court that it would supply all material to the faculty member.

However, when the committee submitted its report in February, Dass moved the high court again demanding contempt of court proceedings against Barua and inquiry committee for not adhering to what they had promised before the High Court.

Dass's counsel Bipin Mehta contended that the committee did not provide him the relevant documents, but IIM-A's lawyer Nandish Chudgar countered him saying that Dass was having all the documents with him.

He also said that Dass could submit his response in this regard, which will be taken into consideration. Following this, Dass withdrew his contempt of the court plea.

The Court asked the institute to take into account Dass's response and come up with a fresh report.

The professor has also filed another petition challenging the inquiry itself, hearing on which is scheduled for March 19.

PTI