Millennium Post

Former DU V-C Pental in and out of jail for data theft

Pental, after a day-long court drama, was given interim relief by Delhi High Court. The HC order, however, failed to get him a release from the court lockup as it said that order for the same has to be signed by the superintendent of Tihar Jail. Thereafter, Pental was taken in the prisoners’ van from Tis Hazari Court lockup to Tihar Jail.

The case, which was placed in the court of additional chief metropolitan magistrate Vinod Kumar Gautam, relates to complainant Professor P Pardha Saradhi, a professor of environmental studies, who had accused Pental and his student KVS K Prasad of plagiarising his paper on biotechnology and publishing it as their own. Pental has been accused of stealing and misusing of genetically modified plants produced by Saradhi from the university’s science lab.

While talking to Millennium Post, Saradhi said that Prasad, in connivance with Pental, had stolen his research data and transgenic material from the research lab.

Interestingly, Prasad, who had completed his PhD under Saradhi, was appointed as post-doctoral fellow by Pental. ‘The former V-C has been arrested for the crime he has committed by allowing Prasad to use the genetically modified plant in the research lab without signing any MoU under bio-safety guidelines, which is must,’ Saradhi said.

Citing the clauses of Environmental Protection Act, Saradhi said, ‘The use of GM plants is very hazardous and without prior approval of Institutional Bio Safety Committee for the same, it neither be produced nor used in lab. Pental was completely aware about this as the former V-C was a key person in the department.’ However, family members of Deepak Pental, who were also present in the court premises, refused to comment on the issue.

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