TNN Nov 26, 2014, 05.51 AM IST
NEW DELHI: Amid high drama, former Delhi University vice-chancellor Deepak Pental was sent to jail by a city court in a case of alleged plagiarism and forgery. However, the Delhi high court stayed the arrest order by evening and directed the Tihar Jail authorities to immediately release the academic.
Justice S Muralidhar granted the relief on urgent mentioning by Pental's lawyer and said the stay will remain in force till the next date of hearing.
Earlier, additional chief metropolitan magistrate Vinod Kumar Gautam had ordered professor Pental's arrest on a complaint by professor P Parthasarathy accusing him and one of his students of plagiarizing his paper on biotechnology. Parthasarathy also accused him of illegally using cobalt, a chemical substance, from the university's science lab.
On appearing before the court for seeking bail in connection with the complaint against him, 63-year-old Pental was taken into custody around 12.45pm and later sent to jail.
Pental's lawyers then approached the high court, arguing that the alleged offences under sections 63 and 70 of the Copyright Act are bailable and the case has not even reached the stage of framing of notice as service of notice upon a co-accused is yet to be completed. Senior advocate Arvind Nigam, representing Pental, alleged that the trial court passed a wrong order and he was illegally taken into custody. He added that the court failed to hear his client's bail plea pending before it since July. He also informed the court that the matter is listed in February for presence of the main accused, who is overseas.
Justice Muralidhar was prima facie convinced and stayed the additional chief metropolitan magistrate's order, even as he asked the petitioner to produce the trial court's order before December 15. It also directed the registrar general of the high court to communicate the order immediately through fax and telephone to the Tihar Jail authorities. The high court also issued a notice to the complainant professor.
In his complaint, Parthasarathy had claimed that Pental and post-doctoral research student KVSK Prasad plagiarised Saradhi's paper and published it as their own between 2000-2002.