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Ex-DU VC jailed after other don's complaint, released by Delhi HC hours later

Hours after former Delhi University vice chancellor Deepak Pental was sent to Tihar jail in a plagiarism case, the Delhi high court yesterday ordered his “immediate release”.

Pental was sent to jail by a trial court, but Justice S Murlidhar ordered his release.

Professor Pental was arrested on a petition by Professor P Parthasarathy, who had accused him of plagiarising his paper on biotechnology and also illegally using cobalt, a chemical substance, from the university’s science lab. He was arrested for unauthorised use of a hazardous substance.

The high court suspended the order of Tis Hazari trial court and asked Pental to appear before it on the next date of hearing of the case.

“The order stated to have been passed today, i.e., Nov 25 by the ACMM (additional chief metropolitan magistrate) requiring the petitioner (Pental) to be taken into custody is suspended forthwith and he is directed to be released by the superintendent, Tihar Jail forthwith, subject to his appearing before the ACMM on the next date of hearing when the bail application is listed,” said Justice Murlidhar while hearing an urgent plea filed by Pental’s counsel Arvind Nigam.

“This order will remain in force till the next date of hearing,” said the court, directing its registrar general to immediately convey the order to the superintendent, Tihar Jail by fax and by telephone to facilitate the immediate release of Pental.

It also issued notice to complainant Parthasarathy and asked him to file his response.

During the hearing in high court, Nigam told the court that there is urgency in the matter as even while the bail application of Pental was listed for hearing before ACMM at 3 p.m., he was straightaway taken into custody at 12.45 p.m. and lodged in Tihar Jail.

Pental, 63, a professor of genetics and a noted researcher, was vice chancellor 2005-2010. He is an expert in the field of transgenics and with more than 60 published research papers. He has also received many awards.

He is accused of cheating, plagiarism, criminal breach of trust and forgery.

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