The Delhi High Court has rejected a plea seeking to summon Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as a witness in a copyright violation lawsuit filed against him by a former JNU scholar-turned-politician, saying it can only be ordered in “exceptional circumstances” and “not in routine”.
A bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Asha Menon upheld its single judge’s November 13 decision dismissing the plea to summon Kumar as a witness in a suit instituted by Atul Kumar Singh, saying “we do not find any illegality, arbitrariness or perversity” in the order that “warrants interference”.
“Resultantly, the present appeal (against single judge’s order) is dismissed… as meritless…,” it said, and “we are of the opinion that only in exceptional circumstances can a plaintiff (Singh) be permitted to summon a party arrayed as a defendant in the suit, as a witness and it is not in routine that such a permission can be granted.”
“No exceptional or out of the ordinary circumstances have been offered by the appellant/plaintiff that would entitle him to summon the respondent No. 1 (Kumar) as a witness to prove the case set up by him. This is all the more so, when the respondent No.1 is not supporting the appellant/plaintiff but has filed a written statement in opposition to the pleas taken by him in the suit,” the bench concluded.
In his lawsuit, Singh, a former JNU student alleged that the book published by Patna-based Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI), through its Member Secretary Shaibal Gupta, and endorsed by Kumar, is a plagiarised version of his research work.