HC directs IIT-Delhi panel to complete probe into plagiarism allegations against two professors

Observing that facts of the case are quite unsettling, the Delhi High Court has directed IIT-Delhi’s Institute Level Plagiarism Committee to conclude its investigation into the allegations of plagiarism against two professors and submit a report before the court. The teachers are accused of using a student’s research proposals for obtaining a Lok Sabha-sponsored fellowship.

“Further, the report prepared by the Student Grievance Redressal Committee be also filed with this Court before the next date of hearing, with a copy to the Petitioner,” said Justice Sanjeev Narula in the order.

Harshal Dilip Kate, a PhD scholar at IIT’s Department of Management Studies since 2018, has approached the court against the termination of his registration by the institute. His registration was terminated on account of “unsatisfactory performance” in two consecutive semesters, as per the plea before court.
Kate told the court that the termination is a result of complaints made by him against his co-guide as well as chairperson of the Student Research Committee (SRC). He further told the court that he attended several e-conferences at international universities and institutes but was questioned by his co-guide for not seeking their prior approval.

“Petitioner also asserts that his co-guide used two of his research proposals for obtaining a Lok Sabha sponsored fellowship for herself worth Rs 10.80 lakh. The name of the Chairperson of SRC, who was his research supervisor, was mentioned as the Co-Principal Investigator on research proposals for the Lok Sabha fellowship,” the court recorded in the order.

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Kate told the court that ever since he confronted his co-guide and SRC Chairperson about the issue of plagiarism, they adopted an adversarial attitude towards him which led him to file complaints with the Student Grievance Redressal Committee and Institute Level Plagiarism Committee. On April 12, he also complained to the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances against the co-guide and Chairperson, SRC.

The counsel representing IIT-Delhi told the court that allegations of the sorts made by Kate are viewed with seriousness by the institute. Action on his complaint would depend upon the report of the committee, the court was told.

Seeking response on Kate’s petition from IIT-Delhi and other respondents, the court listed the case for further hearing on July 19.

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