A former senior Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) scholar-turned-politician has moved the Delhi High Court seeking it to summon Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as a witness in connection with a copyright violation case.
Atul Kumar Singh alleged that a book published by Patna-based Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI) through its Member Secretary Shaibal Gupta and endorsed by the Bihar Chief Minister, was a plagiarised version of his research project, ‘Role of State in Economic Transformation: A case Study of Contemporary Bihar’ of 2006.
Kumar’s counsel strongly opposed summoning of the chief minister as a witness in the lawsuit and contended that he has no direct or indirect association with the book, ‘Special Category Status: A Case for Bihar’ and other defendants.
Earlier, the high court had dismissed Kumar’s plea to delete his name as a defendant from a lawsuit. The court also imposed a cost of Rs20,000 on him.
Singh, however, has submitted that the “chief minister, in person, has not only violated the authorship of his research work, but on being challenged before the court, conspired with his cohorts to criminalise his life in blatant violation of his rights, in particular his authorship rights.”
“The examination of Nitish Kumar…is necessary in order to bring on record further evidence with regard to the violation to the authorship and authorship rights of the literary work, titled as ‘Special Category Status: A Case for Bihar’, in which Bihar Chief Minister is the principal actor,” Singh submitted before Joint Registrar Sanjay Jindal, who is hearing the application.
The Joint Registrar, who had reserved the order, has transferred the matter before the high court, which will now hear the case in May.
In 2010, Singh had moved the high court claiming that initially the book was shown to be “authored” by Nitish Kumar. Later, when Singh complained, ADRI released a new version of the book, which was shown to have been “endorsed” by the Bihar Chief Minister.
He accused Gupta of playing a “pivotal role” in transferring the research work in the name of Kumar.
Singh had contested Lok Sabha elections from Chapra constituency in 2004 as an independent candidate.