Hindustan Times (Delhi)

Delhi publisher files `20-lakh lawsuit against Punjabi University

- Vivek Gupta vivek.gupta@hindustant­imes.com


PATIALA: The academic integrity of Punjabi University has come under a cloud as a Delhi publisher has filed a `20-lakh lawsuit against it for plagiarism.

Hindi publisher Rajkamal Prakashan Ltd has accused the university of reproducin­g its Hindi book in Punjabi. The original was authored by writer Sabyasachi Bhattachar­ya.

A civil judge of Delhi’s Tis Hazari court, Gurvinder Pal Singh, restrained the university from reprinting and selling its ‘infringed’ publicatio­n till the settlement of the issue through an interim order on August 20.

The next hearing is on September 19.

The publisher said he published a Hindi book, Aadhunik Bharat Ka Aarthik Itihaas, after buying its exclusive rights in 1988 from the author and the book’s seventh edition was in the market.

“In June, we learnt that the university’s publicatio­n bureau printed a Punjabi book under the same title in 2012, which was nothing but a translatio­n of our Hindi book,” the publisher said in the petition.

Barring the first two chapters, the varsity’s book was translated from our book, a fact confirmed by Hindi-Punjabi translator Subhash Neerav, when both the books were sent to him for his opinion.

Publishing house managing director Ashok Maheshwari said the name of the author of Punjabi University’s book is SD Gajrani, who retired as a professor of history and died last January.

“Before filing the lawsuit, we checked from Bhattachar­ya whether he gave any permission to Punjabi University to translate and publish the book, but he was unaware about the issue,” said Maheshwari.

He said the varsity had been selling the book for four years in violation of the Copyright Act.

“Even if the commission­ed writer is at fault, the university is equally responsibl­e not vetting the book before sending it for publicatio­n,” he said.

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